The functional purpose of assessment is to gather information for decision makers. Families, professionals in the helping fields, agency administrators and funding sources are typical decision makers that rely on information to assist them in their decision making.
Assessment data can help professionals in several ways:
- Assessment data can assist professionals in deciding if parents have achieved an acceptable level of parenting competence. This is of critical importance in placement or re-unification decisions.
- Assessment data can also determine if the instruction or program need to be modified to meet the needs of the families being served.
- Funding sources make gathering research and evaluation data on the effectiveness of program mandatory for future or continued funding. Agencies who gather assessment data stand a much higher probability in receiving funding.
Assessing Parenting Beliefs
As a result of our early and continual positive and negative childhood experiences, a belief system forms which guides us in making choices for our behavior. Over time, these experiences normalize our thought processes which form healthy and diseased cellular networks. These networks shape our behavior. In his book, “Why We Believe What We Believe,” Dr. Andrew Newberg describes four components that make up our beliefs:
- Perceptions: All the information we receive about ourselves and about the world through our senses.
- Cognition: All the abstract conceptual processes that our brain uses to organize and make sense of our perceptions which include memories and unconscious thoughts.
- Emotions: Emotions help us establish the intensity and value of every perceptual and cognitive experience we have.
- Social Consensus: Our beliefs are influenced by the input we receive form others. Social consensus is important for the beliefs to emerge into social consciousness.
Clinical Interpretation of Parenting Profiles
General clinical information is provided to help professionals interpret the parenting profiles and to create effective parenting interventions that are designed to build positive, nurturing parenting behaviors. Agency reports and statistical analysis can aid in interpretation of the inventory assessments and group program data.
Pretest and Posttest Assessment
In measuring the effectiveness of your program in changing long standing parenting habits and beliefs, assessment is most often designed to gather information at the beginning and end of the program. It is important to use inventory assessment that has pretest and posttest versions which allow measurement of change without the bias of the practice effect.
Family Development Resources publishes only reliable and valid assessment tools that work in harmony with evidence-based parenting programs to ensure families meet and maintain a level of parenting competence that allow children to grow and flourish in nurturing environments.