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					Appendix C
Family Survey Manual




                FAMILY
                SURVEY
                MANUAL



                       July 2009
Contents


Contact information

PART 1: evaluation overview
1.1  About the evaluation
1.2  Data collection methods
1.3  Caseworkers‟ role in the evaluation
1.4  About the Family Survey

PART 2: Preparation for the Family Survey
2.1  When to give the Family Survey
2.2  Before you start
2.3  Checklist of materials required

PART 3: Delivering the Family Survey
3.1  Participant information and consent form
3.2  Prior to starting the FS
3.3  How to Complete the FS
3.4  At the conclusion of the FS
3.5  How to get more Family Surveys

PART 4: Family Survey question guide
4.1  All sections
4.2  Section A: Demographics
4.3  Section B: Family Survey
4.4  Section C: Administration
4.4  Section D: Caseworker Feedback

PART 5: Frequently asked questions
5.1  Definitions
5.2  Consent
5.3  Who participates in the Family Survey?
5.4  Language, literacy and cultural diversity
5.5  Confidentiality and case management
5.6  Partner‟s role in survey
5.7  General

APPENDIX: Disability groups
CONTACT INFORMATION

The aim of this manual is to provide extra information that will assist
caseworkers when administering the Family Survey (FS). The information
contained here has been developed in conjunction with caseworkers and
families to ensure that it answers many of your questions about this
evaluation and your role in it.

This manual is an ongoing tool and is periodically updated to incorporate
feedback and suggestions obtained from caseworkers and families.

Please address any questions or provide feedback to the following:

Question                                Contact
Provision or return of the Family       family.survey@community.nsw.gov.au
Survey,

Family Survey Training                  L&D.EI@community.nsw.gov.au

Brighter Futures evaluation, Family     SPRC@unsw.edu.au
Survey instrument




The best way for you to prepare yourself for the administration of
the Family Survey is to become familiar with this manual and the
survey BEFORE you visit your client.

The May 2008 version of the Family Survey Manual has been
updated to clarify some caseworker questions and reflect minor
revisions to the Family Survey.
PART 1: EVALUATION OVERVIEW

1.1    About the evaluation
DoCS has commissioned the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC)
Consortium to design and implement the evaluation of the Brighter Futures
Program. The purpose of the evaluation is to examine the effectiveness of the
Brighter Futures program.

The three main objectives are to evaluate:
The ways in which families have benefited from the program,
The ways in which program delivery enhance these benefits, and
The cost-effectiveness of the program.

The evaluation includes four core components:
Results evaluation, which examines whether the program is meeting the
needs and improving the longer term outcomes for children and families who
participate;
Process evaluation, which reviews the efficiency and effectiveness of the
administration and implementation of the program;
Economic evaluation, covering an assessment of the value for money and
net benefits of the program; and
In combination, these different approaches give a holistic picture of the overall
success of the program.

For more information, a copy of the evaluation plan is available online at
http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/docswr/_assets/main/documents/ei_evaluationpla
n.pdf

1.2     Data collection methods
Information to inform the evaluation is gathered in a variety of ways and
involves both qualitative and quantitative research. Sources of data collected
for the evaluation include:
     Longitudinal client data collected by DoCS, caseworkers, service
        providers and evaluators;
      Program administrative data supplied by DoCS; and
      Qualitative interviews, group discussions and program observation with
       client communities and program staff conducted by the evaluators.

1.3     Caseworkers’ role in the evaluation
One of the primary sources of information for the evaluation is the Family
Survey (FS). All caseworkers across NSW who are engaged with the program
assist families to complete the FS as a routine part of their case management
and service delivery. Caseworkers are in the best position to collect
information for the evaluation because they engage with families in the
program on a day-to-day basis.
Caseworkers‟ roles in the Family Survey:
Receive training in how to deliver and administer the FS
Discuss the evaluation with each family participating in the program
Obtain consent from each family to take part in the FS
Administer the FS with the family (three times over two years)
Return the FS to the DoCS Information Management Branch

1.4    About the Family Survey
The family survey forms a critical part of the overall evaluation of the Brighter
Futures program. As the evaluation is a longitudinal study, the FS is given to
families three times: at program entry, after 6 months and at program exit, so
that changes in child development and family functioning can be measured
over time.

All families who have entered the program since 1 May 2007 should be asked
to complete the FS. It is important to note that caseworkers should always
offer the survey to families. Families can decline to be involved, however it is
anticipated that caseworkers encourage participation in the survey, as the
survey is an important tool in understanding the impact of the program.
Access to Brighter Futures services and programs are not conditional on
completing the FS.

The FS is made up of several different questionnaires that are reliable and
have been validated in Australia and internationally in assessing the impact of
early intervention programs. The FS has been developed so that either a
caseworker or a primary carer can complete it. The FS is intended to be easy
to understand and relatively quick to deliver.

Prior to implementation, the FS was piloted with a number of different families
and caseworkers across NSW to check such things as user friendliness,
cultural relevance and sensitivity, timing and relevance to the program.

Feedback from piloting indicated that both families and caseworkers found the
FS to be a useful tool to inform case management as well as providing an
opportunity to discuss and reflect on a variety of topics related to parenting
practices.
PART 2: PREPARATION FOR THE FAMILY SURVEY

2.1     When to give the Family Survey
The first Family Survey (baseline administration) should be administered
within two months of the start of Case Management. The survey will be given
again to the same primary carer approximately six months later, and the final
survey will be given when the family leaves the program. Researchers will
also repeat the survey with a sample of families six and 12 months after exit.

It is important that the survey is administered as early as possible after case
management starts and preferably within two months. However the survey
should be administered at a time that is appropriate with each individual family
in order to get the most complete responses. If you are not able to complete
the survey within the two month reference period, complete it as soon as
possible after then.

2.2    Before you start
The following information is required to be entered on the survey before
administering the FS:
    1. Permission from the family to administer the Family Survey. This is
       obtained when the family signs the „Participant Information and
       Consent Statement‟ on pages 3 and 35 and must be obtained each
       time the FS is administered.
    2. Person numbers (UPI‟s) of each child. Enter these and other
       demographic information at questions A.6 – A.12, A.28 and A.30 which
       are grouped together on pages 6 and 7.
    3. Family Identifier, which should be entered at C.1 and can be obtained
       from KiDS, or if you are an agency, from your referral.
    4. Agency Identifier or CSC name, which should be entered at question
       C.2 or C.3.
Information on recording the Family Survey details and creating reports on
overdue surveys in KiDS and DoCS Connect can be found in section 4.13.2 of
the Brighter Futures Caseworker Manual and section 2.5.2 of the Brighter
Futures Service Provision Guidelines.

2.3    Checklist of materials required
Please ensure you have the following materials when administering the FS
with the primary carer:
     This manual
      Family Survey with UFI, UPI‟s, agency/CSC name and consent
       recorded
      Black or blue pen
      A4 Envelope (for families who request their survey responses remain
       confidential from their caseworker)
PART 3: DELIVERING THE FAMILY SURVEY

3.1    Participant information and consent form
Ask the primary carer to read through the form.
[Give them the option of you reading it out if necessary]

Ensure the primary carer understands the content of the form.
[Ask if they have any questions prior to signing]

Ask the primary carer to sign and date their consent to participate.
[An X’ is acceptable in circumstances where the primary carer does not wish
to disclose full name]

Sign your name as the „Witness‟.

The last page (p 35) of the survey contains a copy of the participant‟s consent
as well as a section for withdrawing consent. This page is left with the primary
carer to enable them to withdraw consent (at their option). Explain that this is
a copy of what they have just signed and that if they would like to withdraw
their consent, they should sign the Revocation of Consent part of the form and
return this to IMB via the address given.

3.2    Prior to starting the FS
Ideally, the FS should be administered in a quiet place with minimal
disturbance such as the primary carers‟ home. The caseworker should ensure
the primary carer has the opportunity to complete the FS alone with the
caseworker. However if others are present, try to minimise any influence they
have.

Inform your client that you will not be making any comments about their
responses during the survey. Also inform them that completing the survey will
take approximately one hour, although they may wish to discuss items that
arise in further detail. Please make a note of any issues that do arise and
discuss these at an appropriate time.

The primary carer can choose from the following options of how to complete
the survey:
    Caseworker reads the questions out to the primary carer.
      Self-complete with assistance from the caseworker.
      Self-complete alone and provide to caseworker on completion.

The primary carer can have a mix of options e.g. some questions they might
want to answer alone, other questions they might prefer you to assist with.

If the primary carer chooses to self-complete alone, please arrange a time to
collect the completed survey when you provide them with the survey form.
Families who self-complete alone may request that their responses remain
confidential from their caseworker. If this occurs, the completed survey can be
placed in a sealed A4 sized envelope. However the case worker should
collect the completed FS in the envelope at an agreed time, rather than leave
the form to be returned by the carer. More detailed instructions about this are
provided on page 24 in the General Questions section.

The caseworker should encourage the carer to complete all questions,
particularly those in the scaled tables in Section B. The primary carer can of
course elect to decline to answer one or more questions; and/or stop the
process at any time.

If assisting with completion – have the primary carer sit next to you so they
can see the questions to ensure a transparent process.

The FS is an evaluation instrument that should not be copied or placed on
case files. If case worker issues arise during the completion of the survey
these are to be managed using the processes described above. A file note
can be made on any issue that arises if appropriate.

3.3    How to Complete the FS
Write answers in PEN directly on the FS form.

Begin with the first question and answer each individual question before
moving onto the next question. Do NOT skip any questions (unless
specifically instructed by the primary carer to do so).

Follow the brief instructions written next to each question on the FS form.
[If required, there are further instructions on how to answer each question in
Section Four of this manual].

If a question is not relevant to your client then mark () the “Never” or “Not
true” box (or whatever the “zero” is in the scale they are answering).

You can use the name of the child to personalise the questions. For example,
“I feel that I am very good at calming Johnny (instead of “this child”) when
he/she is upset or crying”.

There are a number of spaces throughout the survey to insert comments.
These are optional.

3.4     At the conclusion of the FS
Ask if the primary carer has any questions, or wishes to discuss any parts of
the FS in more detail.

Double check all the questions have been answered by the primary carer.

Double check that you have filled out section C (Administration) and
Questions A.6-A..12, A.28 and A.30 are complete.
Completed Family Surveys are to be sent back to Information Management
Branch by the 15th of every month (or the next working day if the 15th falls
on a weekend). Surveys are to be posted to:

Data Management, Information Management Branch
Department of Community Services
Locked Bag 4028
Ashfield NSW 2131
or
Data Management, Information Management Branch
Department of Community Services
DX 21212 Ashfield NSW


3.5    How to get more Family Surveys
When you need additional surveys email
family.survey@community.nsw.gov.au advising how many surveys you need,
a contact name and a mailing address.
PART 4: FAMILY SURVEY QUESTION GUIDE

4.1       All sections
Question Code     Explanatory Notes

All               If you have any queries about questions in the Family Survey that are not
                  answered in this manual, please contact SPRC@unsw.edu.au
All               Most questions are self-explanatory. Please refer to the instructions on the
                  FS form.
All               There are numbers beside each box throughout the FS – e.g. 3
                  This is just a coding system. IGNORE these numbers.
All               Do not leave any questions blank. Use the following codes if the question
                  is
                  Unknown = U
                  Declined = D
                  Not Applicable = N/A
All               There is more than one version of the Family Survey in circulation. Due to
                  layout changes the questions may be in a different order but either version
                  can be used.
Various           Note: “Household” should be treated like a Census snapshot – so it refers
                  to the household structure at the time of completing the FS.
Various           For disability definitions refer to the Appendix at the end of this manual.
Comments          Throughout the survey there are spaces to insert brief comments. These
                  are optional.


4.2       Section A: Demographics
Question          Explanatory Notes
Code
A.4               Primary carer is self-defined and refers to the person who will complete the
                  FS.
                  If families believe that caring is equally shared between partners, then this
                  can be recorded under “Other”.
                  If the primary carer is not as fluent in English as the secondary carer, the
                  primary carer is still required to complete the FS.
A.6               Caseworker MUST record the Person Number of each child/young person
                  before administering FS.
(Child)
                  If there are more than 6 people under the age of 18 living in the household,
                  ensure that the “identified child” is included in this table and select 5
                  others. (The „identified child‟ is the child that Section B will be completed
                  on).
                  Important Note: Please underline numerals like this: 1-A 705WH14
A.20               If the carer is an adolescent (e.g. teenage parent, older child, etc), record
                  this as “an adult in the household”.
A27               Primary carer to identify/nominate if there is a secondary carer not living in
                  the household – this depends on whether they consider the secondary
                  carer‟s contribution to be significant.
A.28            The Person numbers should be listed in the same order as it is in A.6 to
                ensure a match.
                Important Note: Please underline numerals like this: 1-A 705WH14
A.30            The Person numbers should be listed in the same order as it is in A.6 to
                ensure a match.
                Important Note: Please underline numerals like this: 1-A 705WH14
A.31            This can refer to anyone living in the household, including children. It can
                include education completed in Australia or overseas.
A.35            This does not have to be exact – an approximation is sufficient.


4.3     Section B: Family Survey
Question Code   Explanatory Notes
B.2             Primary Carer to nominate the youngest child in the Brighter Futures
                program was the subject of a child protection report. If there is no report, or
                multiple children are the subject of the report, then choose the youngest
                child.
                If you do not know who the reported child is, and cannot obtain this
                information, then choose the youngest child.
                If this applies to twins (or more), then primary carer is to choose a child
                and indicate which child in the space supplied.
                If the primary carer has children and is expecting a child, then the
                “identified child” is the youngest child excluding the unborn child.
                Note that all questions in Section B will relate only to this child, and
                all future surveys must refer to this child.
B.3             This is the perception of OVERALL health (physical and/or mental).
B.4.a           Only record medical conditions and development problems that have been
                medically diagnosed. They can be either acute or chronic.
B.4.c           As medically diagnosed.
B.5             Only a brief answer is required.
B.114-B.116     „Family‟ is self-defined by primary carer (e.g. can be nuclear, extended,
                community)
B.119           This is the perception of your physical and/or mental health OVERALL.
B.135-B.142     If you did not receive one of the four services – case management, home
                visiting, child care, parenting program – then mark () „Not Applicable‟.
                Refer to Glossary for definitions.


4.4     Section C: Administration
Question Code   Explanatory Notes

C.1             The Family Identifier

                For families that are case managed by DoCS, the Family Identifier is the
                Case Plan Identifier.
                For families that are case managed by a Lead Agency (i.e. community
                referral, or transferred by DoCS), the Family Identifier was advised to you
                on confirmation of eligibility, or on transfer via DoCS Connect.
                Important Note: Please underline numerals like this: 1-A 705WH14

C.2             Only DoCS caseworkers are to complete this. If you work with a Lead
                Agency, mark () box.
C.3             Only Lead Agency caseworkers are to complete this. If you work with
                DoCS, mark () box.
                Important Note: Please underline numerals like this: 1-A 705WH14
C.5             Mark () this box to indicate that your client has chosen to self complete
                the survey CONFIDENTIALLY.
                If so, ensure that the client is provided with an envelope that is clearly
                marked with the survey form‟s bar code number.


4.4   Section D: Caseworker Feedback
Question Code   Explanatory Notes
All             If the primary carer chooses to self-complete the FS (i.e. without the
                caseworkers assistance), then the caseworker MUST DETACH Section D
                of the FS.
                Be transparent and inform the client that you will be recording your
                impressions of the interview and any other information that you or the
                client think is relevant to note (e.g. recent death in family). You can
                complete this section with the family if you wish.
                All caseworkers MUST complete this section.
PART 5: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If this manual does not answer your question, please email
SPRC@unsw.edu.au

5.1     Definitions
How do you define who the primary carer is?
This is defined by the family. It is the person most involved in parenting the
child in the Program.

What is the difference between ‘sometimes’ and ‘often’ (on the FS
questions)?
The primary carer can interpret these terms as they wish. The caseworkers
are not to influence any responses. If the caseworker is asked to explain, the
primary carer can be told that these are options of how much „x‟ occurs [„often‟
is more than „sometimes‟].

For DoCS caseworkers: Is the family identifier (Question C.1 on the FS)
the same as the case plan identifier?
Yes.

5.2   Consent
When does the caseworker first give the FS to the primary carer?
The FS should be given within the first two months of the commencing of case
management, or as soon as possible after then.

What if the primary carer refuses to participate?
The survey is voluntary and a primary carer cannot be forced to participate.
However, the caseworker can encourage them by explaining that it improves
the quality of the program.

What if the primary carer refuses the first survey but is willing to do the
survey at a later date?
The survey can be completed if the primary carer wishes to participate at a
later date, however if the entry survey is declined, KiDS and DoCS Connect
will not remind you to offer subsequent surveys.

What if the primary carer does not want to put their name in the consent
form?
The primary carer can opt to put a mark or symbol (e.g. “X”) instead of their
name. The caseworker must sign as a witness that the marking or symbol
used does in fact indicate consent.

Who reads the consent form?
The primary carer can read alone, or the caseworker can read out loud. If the
primary carer chooses to read alone, the caseworker should still confirm their
understanding by emphasising the main points on the consent form (e.g.
confidentiality, their freedom to withdraw at any time).
What should the caseworker say to a primary carer who asks where the
information from the FS is going/how it will be used?
The FS is a de-identified survey - that is, it does not collect information such
as name or address. All information gathered will be kept confidential. The
survey will be given to every family participating in the program, and all this
information will be sent to SPRC for analysis. No individual survey can be
identified in any reporting on the program.

Do I need to get consent from the second carer in the household?
No, you only need consent from the primary carer. Questions about the
secondary carer only relate the primary carer‟s perceptions of the other carer,
and so will not ask the primary carer to respond on behalf of anyone else.

What if my client wants to withdraw their consent?
Your client can revoke (withdraw) their consent to participate at any time.
They are to complete the Revocation of Consent Form at the back to the FS
and post this to the address given.

5.3    Who participates in the Family Survey?
Who completes the FS when there is shared parenting?
The FS is intended to be completed by only ONE carer. This same carer may
be completing the FS up three times over two years (longitudinal study) so it
is important that only ONE person completes the FS. This person will be
nominated in the household as the primary carer. The caseworker should
explain to the family the importance of having only ONE person complete the
FS to the family.

There may be some cases where the secondary caregiver is present during
the administration of the FS (and may want to contribute their thoughts and
feelings). This is to be avoided where possible. The caseworker should
attempt to minimise influences from any other family members.

What if the primary carer changes when the FS is administered again?
Ideally, the same primary carer should complete the FS each time that it is
administered (up to three times). Please explain this to the family. However, if
there is a change in primary carer, then caseworkers should still complete the
FS with the new primary carer. Note that answers to the questions will still be
in relation to the same child as the first time the FS was administered.

How do you choose about which child to answer questions if there is
more than one child in the program?
The “identified child” for whom the FS should be completed (up to three times)
is the reported child. If there is no reported child or multiple children are the
subject of a report, then the “identified child” is the youngest child. If the
youngest children are twins (or more), then the primary carer can chose who
they would like to complete the FS for. If the primary carer has children and is
expecting a child, then the “identified child” is the youngest child excluding the
unborn child. If you do not know who the reported child is, and cannot obtain
this information from your case manager or other appropriate sources of
information (e.g. database), then choose the youngest child.
What if I don’t know who the reported child is?
Choose the youngest child.

What if my client is an expecting parent and there are no other children
in the household?
If there is no reported child because your client is an expecting mother and
there are no other children in the household to complete the FS on, then skip
Questions B.7-B.86.

5.4    Language, literacy and cultural diversity
What if the primary carer has limited use of English?
A telephone or face-to-face interpreter should be used to assist. (See page 18
of the Caseworker Manual). Do not use a partner or family member to act as
an interpreter.


What if the primary carer has a low literacy level?
The caseworker is to read out the FS to the primary carer and complete the
questionnaire on the basis of their responses.

What if the primary carer is from a CALD or Aboriginal background?
The FS has been piloted with CALD and Aboriginal families to ensure the
questions are culturally appropriate and sensitive. Some families may require
assistance on meanings of terms and questions, and the caseworker can
assist in explaining these.

What if the primary carer has a disability and requires assistance?
An advocate can complete the FS for the primary carer if required (e.g. if
primary carer has an intellectual disability). As with ALL primary carers, if
completion of the FS is causing undue stress, then do not continue at this
time. Where appropriate, continue with the SAME FS at a later date.

5.5   Confidentiality and case management
What if the primary carer reveals a potential child protection issue
during the course of the survey?
Responsibilities of mandatory reporting occur as usual.

What if during the course of the survey the primary carer reveals
information that directly impacts on the case management of the
primary carer?
The FS is an evaluation instrument that should not be copied or placed on
case files. However information may arise during the course of the survey that
can be used to inform case management. This must be discussed openly with
the primary carer (e.g. “remember when we were doing the survey last week,
you mentioned….”). You may make a File Note of such issues if appropriate.

What if the primary carer wants to discuss any issues arising from the
information gained during the survey?
Where possible, do not stop the survey to discuss emerging or interrelated
issues. Tell the primary carer they are free to discuss any responses at the
conclusion of the survey. At times, this may be unavoidable, particularly if not
stopping the survey compromises the welfare of the primary carers.

What happens if the caseworker knows that the primary carer is
incorrectly answering the questions:
- On purpose?
Caseworkers are NOT to influence the primary carer‟s response in any
manner. If a caseworker knows the primary carer is not telling the truth, the
caseworker can record their impressions and observations at the end of the
FS. However, for ethical purposes, the primary carer must be informed such
caseworker impressions will be recorded.
- Because they did not understand the question?
If the primary carer did not understand the question, and they asked for
clarification, then explain the question further. However, if the primary carer
has answered the question but it is the caseworkers impression (e.g. through
prior knowledge of the primary carer) that they did not understand, then the
caseworker is not to influence the response (i.e. do NOT say “Are you sure
you mean that”?).

5.6    Partner’s role in survey
What if the secondary caregiver has information, knowledge and/or
language skills that could assist in completion of the survey (and which
cannot be gained from the primary caregiver)?
Assistance from another family member can be used.

What if the partner wants to stay during the survey?
The caseworker should ensure the primary carer has the opportunity to
complete the FS alone (or just with caseworker). If the caseworker feels that
the primary carer does not want the partner present (but the partner is
choosing to stay), then the FS can be completed at a more appropriate time,
OR the caseworker should try to minimise any influence from other household
members as much as possible.

What if the partner tries to help fill out the answers and/or wants to
change answers?
The FS should ONLY be completed by the primary carer. Answers cannot be
changed by anyone other than the one person completing the survey. The
caseworker should explain to the family the importance of having only ONE
person complete the FS as the same carer may be completing the FS three
times over two years (longitudinal study).

What if the primary carer feels uncomfortable answering questions
about his/her partner:
      - With a partner present?
The caseworker should ensure the primary carer has the opportunity to
complete the FS alone (or just with caseworker). Where this is not possible,
and the primary carer chooses not to answer certain questions due to the
partner‟s presence the caseworker should note this down as a „declined
question‟.
- In the absence of a partner?
If the primary carer chooses not to answer certain questions about the
partner, the caseworker should note this down as a „declined question‟.

What if the caseworker is verbally delivering the survey to the primary
carer (with the secondary carer present) and there are domestic violence
issues in the household?
Case management is to take precedence over completing the survey.
Completion of the FS should not continue in circumstances where the welfare
of the primary carer is compromised.

5.7    General
What about child management during the FS?
It may be unavoidable that the primary carer is interrupted by children during
completion of the FS. However, the caseworker can use their discretion to
organise with the primary carer to complete the FS at a time where children
may be at child care for example.

What if the FS cannot continue for any reason (e.g. fatigue, stress, child
management)?
If the caseworker and/or primary carer feel that it is inappropriate to continue
the FS in one sitting, then the FS can be continued at a later time/date.
Continue with the SAME survey, do not begin a new one.

What are the showcards for?
Showcards can be used to help people with the questions. They are simply
larger, easier to read versions of the questions. The primary carer can hold
these cards and point to the answer as the caseworker is verbally delivering
the questions. These do not have to be used.

Does it make a difference if I am a DoCS caseworker or a Lead Agency
caseworker?
No, the FS is to be completed by ALL caseworkers.

How long should the FS take?
It is estimated to be between 45-60 mins, however the length will vary
depending on a number of factors. A primary carer may wish to talk at length
about issues which emerge from the questions. It is important that the
caseworker minimise such discussion during completion of the FS, but
emphasise that the primary carer may talk abut any issues after the survey is
complete. [It is helpful for the caseworker and/or primary carer to jot down the
points to be discussed].

What if the primary carer has a strong reaction to certain questions?
It is expected that some primary carers will find certain questions confronting.
Caseworkers should first ask the primary carer if they want a short break or if
they want to stop the FS. If possible, the caseworker should encourage the
primary carer to continue with the difficult questions, as long as answering the
questions does not compromise the welfare of the primary carer.

What if the primary carer has recently experienced a traumatic event
which could skew answers in the FS?
This is ok. The FS is designed to capture different periods of an individual‟s
life and such events should be noted by caseworker under Question D.8.

What if the primary carer asks about why certain topics are not being
addressed in the FS (e.g. the other parent of the child not living in the
house)?
The caseworker should tell the primary carer that the FS survey only focuses
on the family in the household. If the primary carer feels that there is important
information which is not being asked for, then the caseworker is to BRIEFLY
record this at the end of the survey.

Where should the caseworker sit if verbally delivering the FS to the
primary carer?
The caseworker should sit next to the primary carer so that they can see the
questions being asked. This will ensure transparency. Let the primary carer
hold the Showcards (if they want).

When do I complete Section D?
If you assist your client to complete the FS then inform your client that you will
record information either you or they think is relevant to the client‟s responses
(e.g. recent trauma) and your impressions of the interview. They can see the
questions in Section D and you can complete this section with them or after
you have left.

If the client self-completes you may still wish to make some comments in this
section.

What if a client does not want their caseworker to see their completed
response?
If your client requests that their responses remain confidential from you, then
mark C5 accordingly and provide them with an A4 sized envelope on which
you note the Family Survey Form Number, which is located at the bottom right
hand corner of the front page (under barcode).

Part D is to be removed and discarded - unless you wish to make subsequent
comments pertaining to the survey response. If you do subsequently complete
this section, attach it to the envelope in which the client has placed their
completed survey and send these together.

What if the client wants a copy of their responses to the FS?
The client cannot keep a copy of their responses to the FS. It is like a Census
– people cannot keep a copy of this.

Can the caseworker keep the FS in their case plan for the family?
No. The original FS is to be posted to IMB as soon as possible after the
survey has been completed.

Where can I get more copies of the Family Survey?
To get more surveys, please email family.survey@community.nsw.gov.au
with the approximate quantity, a contact name and mailing address.

What does the caseworker do with the survey once it is completed?
Please return the completed FS by the 15th of each month to:
Data Management, Information Management Branch
Department Of Community Services
Locked Bag 4028
Ashfield NSW 2131
or
Data Management, Information Management Branch
Department Of Community Services
DX 21212 Ashfield NSW

If any section of the form has been discarded, damaged or destroyed, please
attach an explanatory note and any replacement sheets that you have used.

				
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