Assistant Professor Pamela Epley is collaborating with researchers at the University of Kansas and University of Texas at Austin to develop, pilot, and field test the Family Strengths and Needs Assessment (FSNA) tool focused on families of young children with disabilities and special health care needs.

While recent regulations governing Part C/Early Intervention have mandated a family-directed assessment to identify families’ resources, priorities, and concerns, current family assessment tools do not exemplify an empowering partnership between families and practitioners. The FSNA is a flexible assessment tool that provides practical and outcome-oriented information about family needs and resources/strengths to enable effective participation by families in the early intervention process.

Expert stakeholders from Part C/Early Intervention programs, Parent Training and Information centers, and 15 to 20 families who have a young child with a disability in each state are providing input and feedback on the development of this measure.

Once developed, Epley and colleagues will field test the measure with approximately 200 families and practitioners in Illinois and Kansas.