1140. Family Assessment

Original Date:  December 2011

Revised Date:  October 31, 2019

Sunset Review Date:  May 31, 2023

Approval:  Jody Becker, Deputy Secretary


Conducting an assessment of the family is the process of gathering information to gain a greater understanding of how a family's strengths, needs and resources affect child safety, well-being, and permanency. Assessments are completed in partnership with the family to understand what everyday life challenges and individual caregiver patterns of behaviors contribute to child safety threats that will be addressed in case planning.


This policy applies to Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) caseworkers.


RCW 26.44.260 Family assessment response

RCW 26.44.270 Family assessment, recommendation of services


  1. Assessments of the family are completed at key decision points in a case.
  2. Assessments must identify the enhanced protective and diminished protective capacities directly related to the identified safety threats.
  3. Family members must be included in the assessment process.
  4. Assessments must include information and input from professionals and other collateral contacts that have knowledge about the child and family.
  5. Information contained in the Comprehensive Family Evaluation (CFE) DCYF 10-480 form, Investigative Assessment (IA) DCYF 09-967 form and the FAR Family Assessment (FARFA) DCYF 10-474 form will be used to help develop the case plan.


Caseworkers must:

  1. Complete the FARFA or CFE with the family to address changes in behaviors, conditions, and attitudes related to safety.
  2. Complete the Safety Assessment/Safety Plan DCYF 15-258 form during the completion of the CFE or FARFA.
  3. Assess conditions for return home when updating a CFE. Review how the safety threat is or is not:
    1. Being managed by the caregiver;
    2. How the parent is incorporating service provisions into their daily life; and
    3. Being addressed in the family home.
  4. Complete the following in FamLink:
    1. LD/CPS Investigative Assessment DCYF 09-967 form within 60 calendar days of DCYF receiving the intake.
    2. Initial CFE within 45 calendar days of a Family Voluntary Services (FVS) or Child and Family Welfare Services (CFWS) case assignment. This includes supervisor approval in FamLink.
    3. FARFA no later than:
      1. Forty-five calendar days from the date the intake was received; or
      2. One hundred and twenty calendar days if a case plan for services has been developed and the parent or guardian agree to participate in services.
    4. The safety assessment within the required timeframes per the 1120 Safety Assessment policy.
  5. Update the CFE in FamLink:
    1. Every 90 days after the completion of the prior CFE on FVS cases.
    2. A minimum of every six months or when a new report to the court is required for a CFWS case.
    3. When conditions for return home have been achieved.
    4. When developing or changing a case plan.
    5. Prior to case closure.


Comprehensive Family Evaluation DCYF 10-480 (located in FamLink)

LD/CPS Investigative Assessment DCYF 09-967 (located in FamLink)

FAR Family Assessment DCYF 10-474 (located in FamLink)


Comprehensive Family Evaluation Guide (located under Guides and Tools on the CFWS Children’s Administration (CA) Intranet page)

Comprehensive Family Evaluation for Legally Free Children Guide (located under Guides and Tools on the CFWS CA Intranet page)

Investigative Assessment Guide (located under Guides and Tools on the CFWS CA Intranet page)