CFSR Round 4 Instruments, Tools, and Guides

This section includes CFSR Round 4 instruments, guides, and reviewer briefs.

Statewide Assessment (SWA) and Guidance

Guiding Principles, Framework, and Tools for the Statewide Assessment Process

This document provides guiding principles, a suggested framework, and resources and tools states can use when completing a quality statewide assessment.

Assessing Systemic Factor Functioning Using Data and Evidence

This compilation of briefs highlights the importance of collecting and using quality data and information so child welfare agencies and their partners can assess and routinely monitor statewide functioning of systemic factors. The compilation suggests sources of relevant information and data that child welfare agencies and their partners can investigate to explore the systemic factor federal requirement in their efforts to demonstrate the statewide functioning of each systemic factor. It also provides states with questions about areas related to a systemic factor that may be worth further consideration but extend beyond what is required under the CFSR regulation. This resource also provides questions to ensure that states consider how their systems identify and address racial inequities, and include the voices of parents, children, and youth from underserved and marginalized communities.

Companion resources are available through the Capacity Building Center for States. The Center’s Systemic Factor Data Planning Worksheets help state teams think through how to demonstrate systemic factor functioning, document existing data and information sources, consider gaps in evidence, and identify additional data needs to answer the core questions required within the Statewide Assessment. These fillable worksheets are part of the Center’s CFSR Round 4 Planning and Implementation Tools.

Onsite Review Instrument (OSRI) and Guidance

OSRI Item 2 Reviewer Brief

This reviewer brief provides guidance for applying Item 2 of the OSRI in CFSR Round 4. Emphasis is placed on the applicability criteria, key questions that inform the rating determination, and making distinctions between appropriate services that should be addressed under Item 2 and those relevant to the Well-Being items in the OSRI.

Round 4 Guide for Writing "No" Narratives and Rationale Statements

As an important part of completing the OSRI and rating its items and outcomes, reviewers must complete short “No” Narratives and longer Rationale Statements. This guide is recommended for use by reviewers to ensure that “No” Narratives and Rationale Statements succinctly and comprehensively provide the information required to support answers to OSRI questions.

Guidance for Case Elimination

This document provides federal and state-specific case elimination criteria, and guidance for developing and implementing procedures to document, apply, track, and report case elimination for CFSR Round 4. Also included is a Case Elimination Worksheet.

Quick Reference Items List

This document briefly summarizes the 18 items in the Onsite Review Instrument and Instructions and the 18 systemic factor items in the Stakeholder Interview Guide.

Reviewer Brief: Understanding Federal Expectations for Rating Cases

This Reviewer Brief gives those participating in the CFSRs a brief overview of the practices that may lead to a Strength rating in a case and the expectations or special considerations that should be given to particular case circumstances in evaluating the item ratings for a case. The OSRI contains questions, applicability notes, instructions, and definitions that provide more detailed information.

Talking Points: Application of the OSRI to Cases Open as Both In-Home Services and Foster Care During the Period Under Review

This document discusses how to handle the uncommon situation in which reviewers may receive a case that was opened for both in-home services and foster care during the period under review.

OSRI Quality Assurance Guide

This updated guide is recommended for use by reviewers and those conducting all levels of quality assurance (QA) to ensure that OSRI data are accurate, complete, and consistent. It contains information regarding general and item-specific issues to consider when reviewing a case or conducting QA on an OSRI. The guide also describes an approach to conducting QA that encourages discussions with reviewers before completion of the OSRI in addition to a final QA review of the instrument once it is completed. A new section, "Instructions for Foster Care Cases Involving a Trial Home Visit (THV)," provides guidance when rating foster care cases in which the target child or their sibling(s) went home on a trial home visit during the period under review. 

Case-Related Interview Guides and Instructions

These interview guides have been developed for key case-related interviews (Child/Youth, Parent/Caregiver, Foster Parent, and Caseworker) conducted during the CFSR. The guides include suggested language for introducing the interview process to the interviewee as well as specific questions that cover the key areas in the OSRI that should be informed by case participant information. The questions in the guides can be modified to fit the specific needs of participants as well as the circumstances of the case.

Reviewer Brief: Calculating 15 Out of 22 Months for the Purpose of Meeting TPR Requirement

This reviewer brief provides instructions on how 15 out of the 22 most recent months should be calculated for children in foster care for CFSR purposes. The termination of parental rights (TPR) requirement, as outlined in the Social Security Act at § 475(5)(E), requires states to make timely decisions regarding permanency for children in foster care by having states and applicable Tribes file a TPR petition when a child has been in foster care for at least 15 of the most recent 22 months, and an exception or a compelling reason does not apply.

Reviewer Brief: Rating CFSR OSRI Item 12: Assessment of Needs and Provision of Services

This reviewer brief discusses CFSR questions related to the quality, accuracy, and comprehensiveness of needs assessments and how the agency ensures provision of appropriate services to meet the identified needs of children, parents, and foster/pre-adoptive parents.

Stakeholder Interview Guide (SIG) and Guidance

Stakeholder Interview Guide

This instrument is used to conduct local and state-level interviews during the onsite review component of the CFSRs. It identifies questions that may be asked during stakeholder interviews across seven systemic factor sections.