California Department of Social Services Validation of the SDM® Reunification Reassessment

CRC examined a sample of 21,000 children placed in foster care in 17 California counties to (1) examine the relationships between workers’ family strengths and needs assessment (FSNA) findings and child reunification; (2) identify common barriers to reunification; (3) assess the relationship between worker-scored California reunification reassessment (CRR) findings and foster care reentry; and (4) identify practice issues and recommend changes in assessment implementation that may improve performance. The FSNA is used to assess areas of caregiver functioning, including substance abuse, mental health, and social support, shortly after placement entry. It helps workers develop case plans and identify areas of need that the family needs to address to expedite the child’s return home. Workers complete the CRR at six-month intervals after the initial placement to assess case plan progress, visitation, and household safety before returning a child home.