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Culturally Responsive and Evidence-Informed Assessment with Children, Youth, and Families

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SW621, Section 001

This course is intended to develop knowledge and skills for practice with children, youth and families, with special attention to assessment. Students learn about varying approaches to assessment, the various contexts in which assessment takes place, and the assessment skills used with children, youth, and families. Students will be familiar with both strengths and limitations of assessments, and how assessments are used (e.g., in school, juvenile justice, and child welfare forensic assessment) including assessments for intervention recommendations.

Students will learn how to evaluate overall functioning, conduct developmental assessments, and make a determination about child, youth and family service needs. Students will learn different models of assessment and the role of interdisciplinary assessments (e.g., medical examinations and psychological testing) in the overall assessment process. Students will also become acquainted with widely used assessment practices with children, youth and families in terms of initial screening, risk assessment, and structured decision making. Existing evidence for their utility will be explored.

Students will also be sensitized to their personal reaction to child and youth demonstrations of trauma and crises. They will be appraised of professional expectations, such as mandatory reporting of child maltreatment, and will learn about the general structure of service delivery to child and youth clients. Sensitization to the roles of power and privilege of professionals as they relate to both children and their parents is an integral part of the course. In addition, the course will address the sometimes conflicting needs of children and families and child-serving systems (e.g., legal system; school) impacting assessment outcomes and recommendations.

The diversity of children, youth and families, in terms of race, ethnicity, culture, class, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and other social identities will be explored. Of particular focus is the over-representation of children of color and the differential response of various child and youth serving systems based upon social identity differences. Students will gain insights about how differences between themselves and client systems affect assessment process including outcomes and recommendations.

Semester: Fall 2022
Instructor: Laura L. Sanders
U-M Class #: 29076
Program Type: Residential
Format: In-Person
Credits: 3 Credit Hours

Pathway Associations

Community Change
Interpersonal PracticeElective
Mgmt & Leadership
Policy & Political
Program Evaluation
Older Adults
Children & FamiliesRequirement (Host)

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