This project was a formative evaluation of a new assessment instrument designed to help practitioners who work with children and families (such as teachers, GPs, school counsellors etc.) identify and respond early to the needs of vulnerable children and families. The instrument also provides guidance to practitioners in how to provide assistance to families to stop problems escalating into crisis. The Common Approach to Assessment, Referral and Support (CAARS) materials were piloted in four sites across Australia from September 2011 and this project examined implementation of the instrument to determine its appropriateness in different contexts and with different client groups. The evaluation helps to refine the CAARS materials. The project also informed decision making about the broader implementation of CAARS, and assessed the degree to which CAARS is fit for its designed purpose.
Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth