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June 2010Vol. 11, No. 5Self-Assessment Tools for Programs Serving Young Children

Strengthening Families recently revised and expanded its Online Self-Assessment Package for use by all programs serving young children and their families, including early care and education, home visitation, family support, and child welfare. The tool helps programs make small but significant changes in their day-to-day practice to dramatically impact the lives of parents and children. It begins with a self-assessment in which programs answer a series of questions about the services and supports they provide to families. The assessment is structured around the seven Strengthening Families program strategies:

  • Facilitate friendships and mutual support
  • Strengthen parenting
  • Respond to family crises
  • Link families to services and opportunities
  • Value and support parents
  • Facilitate children's social and emotional development
  • Observe and respond to early warning signs of abuse and neglect

The assessment results can be used to create an action plan for program areas needing improvement. To help programs measure the impact of their improvement efforts, the package also includes two survey tools for use with parents and staff to gauge changes in behaviors and attitudes over time. The surveys address staff interaction with families and parents' perceived strengths related to the five protective factors.

Program staff may download the tools in PDF format or create an online account to input and analyze the results of the self-assessment and surveys. Using the online system can help programs create an action plan, generate reports based on survey data, and share results with local, State, regional, and national entities.

View the materials, create an account, or watch a webinar describing the Online Self-Assessment Package on the Strengthening Families website: