§2 ch9: Safety Analysis and Risk Assessment
9.4 Assessment of Risk
The Structured Decision Making (SDM) risk assessment can be found in the (CPS-1) Child Abuse/Neglect Investigation/Family Assessment Summary or as the CD-14E Risk Assessment as a stand alone. The SDM risk assessment tool identifies families, which have low, moderate, high, or very high probabilities of future abuse or neglect. The SDM risk assessment tools are only used for families in which there are children in the home.
By completing the risk assessment, the worker obtains an objective appraisal of the likelihood that a family will maltreat their children in the next 18 to 24 months. The difference between risk levels is substantial. High risk families have significantly higher rates of subsequent referral and substantiation than low risk families, and are more often involved in serious abuse or neglect incidents.
When risk is clearly defined and objectively quantified the agency can ensure that resources are targeted to higher risk families because of the greater potential to reduce subsequent maltreatment.