Preliminary Risk Assessment Fit Analysis of the SDM® Family Risk Assessment

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) partnered with NCCD’s Children’s Research Center (CRC) to implement a Structured Decision Making® (SDM®) risk assessment for child protective services (CPS). This actuarial risk assessment will help DFPS to identify families at highest risk of future child maltreatment to inform decisions related to service provision with the goal of preventing the occurrence of future harm. DFPS decided to adopt a version of the risk assessment originally developed for a child welfare population served by the California Department of Social Services. To test whether that version of the risk assessment will work as intended for DFPS, CRC conducted this preliminary risk fit study. The results of the study showed that the risk assessment will work as intended for the DFPS CPS population. A full risk validation study is recommended within three to five years of implementation.