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Assessment Rating:
B – Reliability and/or Validity Level Above Face Validity Demonstrated
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Family Assessment Form (FAF)


Children's Bureau of Southern California

Description / Purpose:

The FAF is used to aid in family assessment, development of service plans, and monitoring progress. The instrument looks at physical, social, and financial environment. Caregiver history, characteristics, and child-rearing skills; the children's developmental and behavioral status; and family interpersonal interactions are measured. Both strengths and weaknesses can be monitored and summarized as the basis for a treatment plan.

Target Population: Families at risk for out-of-home placement of children.

Intended Users: Child welfare workers.

Time to Administer: Sections of the FAF are completed following each of 3-4 family contacts over time. Each section requires approximately 15 minutes.

Completed By: Child welfare caseworker.

Modalities Available: Paper and pencil or software-assisted versions.

Scoring Information: Scoring materials come with the FAF and may be obtained at the CWLA website Software-assisted scoring is available, either as FAF-Pro or FAF-Express. See the FAF website.

Languages Available:

Training Requirements for Intended Users: No specific degree requirement is recommended. Training information, including software, and materials are available at the FAF website.

Availability: The FAF may be obtained through the FAF website.

Contact Information

Company: Children's Bureau of Southern California
Website: www.familyassessmentform.com
Email: http://www.familyassessmentform.com/contact.html
Phone: (213) 342-0100
Fax: (213) 342-0200

Summary of Relevant Psychometric Research

This assessment has received the Assessment Rating of "B – Reliability and/or Validity Level Above Face Validity Demonstrated" based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The assessment must have 1 or more published, peer-reviewed studies that demonstrated that the measure is reliable and valid. Please see the Assessment Rating Scale for more information.

McCroskey, J., Nishimoto, R., & Subramanian, K. (1991). Assessment in family support programs: Initial reliability and validity testing of the Family Assessment Form. Child Welfare, 70, 19-33.


Participants — 70 families in the Family Connection Project of the Children's Bureau of Southern California.

Race/Ethnicity — Mothers: 50% White, 38.2% Hispanic, 10.3% Black, 1.5% Pacific Islander. Fathers: 47.1% White, 41.2% Hispanic,


This study looked at the internal reliability of the items intended to measure each area assessed by the FAF. Results showed that items within each subscale showed high correlations with each other. An exception was items assessing the personal characteristics of the second caregiver, typically the father. The authors note that this finding was due to a large amount of missing data for families in this area. This study is limited to internal reliability only and did not assess the validity of the FAF.

Date Reviewed: June 2009