Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Integrated Assessment Program (IAP): Demonstration Project
Cheryl Smithgall, Principal Investigator
The Integrated Assessment Project (IAP) is designed to provide up-front clinically based assessments to the families of children with open cases at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. It is a collaborative endeavor between an intake coordinator, child welfare casework staff, the family, and a clinical screener. The IAP was initiated in February 2005; by Spring 2007, more than 3,000 families with almost 5,000 children had been assessed, and IDCFS began to expand the program to cases in which children entering care are siblings of children already in care.
In this demonstration project, the IAP program will be extended to intact-family cases in certain jurisdictions. Through the early and comprehensive assessment of both the strengths and needs of all members in the family system, combined with appropriate service linkage, the goal of the project is to position the family to emerge from an existing crisis or to make the behavioral or contextual changes necessary to stabilize the family and reduce any identified risks to the children.
In an effort to assess when and whether the project has attained its goals, Chapin Hall will draw on a number of different data sources, including administrative case data, assessment narratives in the SACWIS database, and interviews with key staff involved in this initiative. Indicators of interest include: high rates of completed assessments within the specified timeline, broader and more specific identification of needs, greater service uptake and follow-through, and lower foster care placement rates among intact family cases.