Department of Health and Family Services
Division of Children and Family Services
DCFS Memo Series 2001- 03/ACTION
March 15, 2001

Re: Child Welfare Assessment


To: Area Administrators/Assistant Area Administrators
Bureau Directors
County Departments of Community Programs Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities
         Services Directors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Departments of Social Services Directors
Licensing Chiefs/Section Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators
From: Susan N. Dreyfus

This memo contains instructions for the local assessment process counties will conduct for their child welfare programs in spring 2001. The assessment process is a comprehensive analysis of local child welfare program operations and program outcomes by county child welfare agencies with broad participation by community stakeholders. The outcomes to be analyzed include key aspects of child safety, permanence and child and family well-being.

The following materials are included with this memo:

  • Description of the assessment process. DCFS Info Memo 2001-06 issued February 22, 2001 also contains information about the assessment process.

  • Assessment tool and instructions - The assessment tool includes an agency overview section with targeted program questions and a community discussion section.

  • Description of child welfare outcomes - Explanation of the child safety, permanence and well-being outcomes established by the federal government and the forthcoming federal review process.

County data profiles with information on safety, permanency, out-of-home care and other information will be mailed separately to county directors for use with the assessment process. Data worksheets with the outcome information contained in the data profiles will be made available to county staff upon request.

Counties should begin the assessment process by establishing their local leadership teams and designating a lead child welfare agency staff person to manage the process, including planning the community discussions and oversee completion of the assessment response. Counties should also identify any issues of local interest they want to address in the assessment process. Child welfare agency staff should begin to analyze the outcome data, start work on the agency overview and targeted questions, and prepare for the community discussions. Assessment responses are due to the Department by June 29, 2001.

A series of regional meetings will be held by Department staff in late March to explain the assessment process. Key agency staff and other interested individuals should attend these meetings to receive further instruction on the process. Department staff will also be available during the assessment process period to provide technical assistance to counties as they conduct their assessments.

Phone 608-264-9846


Description of Child Welfare Assessment Process  (pdf file)
Assessment Instructions and Tools  (pdf file)    (Word file)
Federal Children & Family Services Reviews - Overview  (pdf file)

The Department of Children and Families, protecting children, strengthening families, building communities.