Every Child
10/23/15 at 09:51 AM 0 Comments

Family Strengths Assessment - Building a Network of Support

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Building a support network is not about talking to strangers. A comprehensive support network, or “safety net,” should include knowing which individuals and agencies help you make plans and develop coping strategies when you’re in a tough parenting situation and need a break.

The Coalition for Children, Youth, and Families in Wisconsin created the following family strengths assessment that will help you consider the strength of your resource network and how prepared you really are.

Assessment

Name the people you can call for occasional emergency child care when you need a break.
(2 points for each)
______________

List people you can call any hour of the day or night just to talk and “debrief” from your woes.
(3 points for each)
______________

List people you can call at reasonable daytime hours to talk and “debrief” from the stresses of life.
(2 points for each)
______________

List the names of therapists,medical providers, and social workers who personally return your calls quickly and take time to discuss difficulties.
(3 points for each)
______________

List each activity you absolutely love to do and that you can regularly afford doing.
(1 point for each)
______________

Identify how your body responds to stress and how you can alter that response. If you successfully do this the next time you feel stressed, award yourself 10 points.
______________

If you and your spouse (or other co-parent) have similar views on child rearing, especially handling behavior
problems, score 10 points.If you have different views, score negative 10 points. If you are a single parent,
you are neutral on this one, so score zero.
______________

If you consider yourself to have a strong faith, score 10 points.
______________

If you have a sense of humor and can laugh at yourself, score 10 points.
______________

If you have parenting experience, score 1 point for each child you have parented.
______________

If you live in an area rich in resources for parents of children with special needs, score 5 points.
______________

If you readily seek out available resources when you encounter problems, score 5 points.
______________

If your extended family supports your adoption/foster care plans, score 5 points.
______________

Add up your score.
More than 150 points: Your safety nets are in place and ready to catch you.

100–150 points: Keep an eye on those safety nets so holes do not develop. For now, they
seem pretty strong.

75–100 points: Your safety nets need a little work—be sure to do it now so they won’t be full of holes
when you need them.

50–75 points: You need some help!

Below 50 points: You’re not only without adequate safety nets, you may be on a tightrope!

For more information on family strengths assessment or to speak with a counselor, visit Bethany.org to find the Bethany Christian Services office nearest you.

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