Family Assessment Response (FAR)

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DSHS Children's Administration is pleased to share information and plans regarding Family Assessment Response, a Child Protective Services alternative to investigations of low to moderate risk screened-in reports of child maltreatment. This creates a different pathway for Children's Administration and an advancement in our work with families.

Joining with Tribes, child welfare stakeholders and other child welfare partners, Children's Administration continues its commitment to child safety and strengthening our work with families.

Differential Response

Differential Response acknowledges a growing understanding that not all families need an investigative intervention. An alternative response intervention connects families to services, concrete supports, and community resources.

Family Assessment Response

In March 2012, Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6555 was signed into law. This law requires our agency to implement a differential response system, designing an alternative pathway for accepted reports of low to moderate risk of child maltreatment. This pathway will be known as "Family Assessment Response."

Family Assessment Response, also known as "FAR", provides a comprehensive assessment of child safety, risk of subsequent child abuse or neglect, family strengths and need. No subject is named and no findings made.

A family's involvement in the Family Assessment Response program is voluntary. The voluntary involvement is critical and opens the door to a partnership between the family and Children's Administration to engage in an assessment of safety, risk, strengths and needs. The Family Assessment Response implementation plan will be submitted to the legislature, as required in statute, no later than December 31, 2012. Implementation of Family Assessment Response will begin no later than December 1, 2013.

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