Ways to Implement UWSF: Self-Assessment

Steps in the Process

  1. Visit the CSSP Website. Here you can browse through the CSSP Strengthening Families information and self-assessment tool.
  2. Identify a group of programs. Take a look around your community and chose programs that will benefit from self-assessment and also will be interested in protective factor work.
  3. Convene a team for orientation and training. Your self-assessment team members should understand both the protective factors and the purpose of the self-assessment, be honestly invested, demonstrate the capacity to bring diverse group together, and be willing to participate in strategic planning. The team should expect to be involved in the self-assessment and the subsequent creation of an action plan. Members should include administrative staff, program director, front-line staff working directly with families, and parents whose children participate in the program.

    Keys to Success
    • Some sites expressed concern over the time required to conduct a thorough self-assessment. One way to mitigate this is to make sure that the supports for new sites are strong and consistent from the beginning, which in turn means ensuring that staff resources are sufficient to provide those supports.
    • Involving parents in the entire process will prevent, what one site suggested amounted to, training being done to and for parents but not with them.

  4. Facilitate meetings. Your team meetings will train, implement, and track the self-assessment process. A logical time frame is 6 months broken down into 7 meetings.
    1. The initial meeting will break the work down the self-assessment into smaller sections (determined by you prior to the meeting).
    2. Each member of the team works on the current section and prepares to discuss that work at the next monthly meeting.
    3. The local United Way guide will reconvene the team and facilitate reflecting and sharing.
      Keys to Success
      • Allow for discussion of rating results including descriptions of why they rated the practice the way they did and—if appropriate—to provide an example.
      • After the discussion is complete have all team members re-rate the practice. You don’t need consensus here, but all team members should understand each other's perspectives.
    4. Repeat steps a-c until all sections are completed. Keys to Success
      • After the re-rating process identify practice areas receiving a majority of poor ratings.
      • Discuss a time frame for addressing changes to poorly rated practices (ie. immediately, over time, or not at all). Allow time for discussion and reevaluation when team members disagree.
    5. The team gathers to create an action plan.

  5. Create an action plan. Based on your completed self-assessment your team can work through creating an action plan. The on-line self-assessment actually incorporates an action planning tool. It will automatically generate for you a list of items that were rated fair or poor. You can choose among those items which to develop an action plan for. It provides a simple action planning template (what are you going to do, who’s responsible, what is the cost, what is the time frame). Make sure to specify resource and staff hour costs, the amount of time needed, who should be responsible, and key steps toward implementation.

    Keys to Success
    • One of our pilot sites realized that they needed to learn how to create a strategic plan in order to fix what they identified as broken.
    • The CSSP website also includes a list of ways to promote protective factors


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