Measurement Tools for Child Welfare

Measurement tools for well-being in child welfare consist of both screening tools and assessment tools. The CEBC provides information on select screening and assessment tools that may be commonly used by staff in the child welfare system in order to help child welfare agencies evaluate the research supporting each tool. In order to be included on the CEBC, the tool must meet the following requirements:

  1. Has a manual and/or training available that describes how to administer and score it
  2. Is used in the child welfare field
  3. Does not require a clinical license to be used and interpreted
  4. Has established psychometrics (e.g., specificity, sensitivity, reliability, or validity) and/or be commonly used in California
Screening Tool vs. Assessment Tool

The CEBC defines a screening tool as a brief questionnaire or procedure that examines risk factors, mental health/trauma symptoms, or both to determine whether further, more in-depth assessment is needed on a specific area of concern, such as mental health, trauma, or substance use. Since the goal is to identify specific needs among a broad group, screening is usually done with a large population, like all children referred to Child Welfare Services or all children entering out-of-home care. A positive result on a screening tool should result in a referral for a more thorough assessment.

The CEBC defines an assessment tool as an in-depth questionnaire or procedure used to understand a child’s and/or family’s strengths and needs, such as functioning, family and individual history, symptoms, and the impact of trauma. The focus of the CEBC is on tools used during assessments done by child welfare staff, and not on tools used during clinical assessments that may be completed by licensed mental health or medical professionals.

Measurement Tool Rating Scale

Click here to access the Measurement Tool Rating Scale.

List of Measurement Tools

Click here to access the list of measurement tools highlighted on the CEBC.

Webinar: Screening and Assessment in Child Welfare: Using the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse’s Measurement Tools Section - October 2015

Click here to access the CEBC-Sponsored Webinars page for more information about this recorded webinar and how to view it. It is listed under the 2015 heading.