2023 FALL SDM Tuesday Series

Join Rachel Andal, SDM training consultant for SFNFCI’s Fall SDM Tuesdays Series.

Starting September 19th till November 1st, 2023, each Tuesday will be dedicated to a specific SDM tool. We will spend time looking at what decision point each tool helps us work through by reviewing materials and having hands on practice.

If you are interested in participating for one OR all the sessions, please register on through SFNFCI’s Calendar of Events:


SDM Intake Assessment

Sept 19, 2023

9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

SDM Safety Assessment

Sept 26, 2023

9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Gems of Clarity

Oct 3, 2023

9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

SDM Safety Planning

Oct 10, 2023

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.

SDM Risk Assessment

Oct 17, 2023

9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

SDM FSNA (family strengths and needs) Assessment

Oct 24, 2023

9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

SDM Reunification- Assessment

Oct 31, 2023

1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

SDM Risk Re-Assessment

Wednesday, Nov 1, 2023

9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.


There are the different questions and decisions that are made throughout our child welfare work with families. The SDM system can help us answer them. Each SDM assessment is connected to a question about the case, or a decision that needs to be made, beginning with the intake assessment.

When a referral is received, the caseworker receiving the referral determines whether to conduct an in-person investigation. The intake assessment’s screening tool is designed to assist the worker in making this decision. When further investigation is warranted, the response priority tool helps determine how quickly to respond. If child welfare agencies had unlimited resources, they could respond immediately to every call. Instead, we must decide which calls require an immediate response and which can be investigated within five days.

Once face-to-face contact is initiated, a decision is made to either protectively place a child or to allow the child to remain in the home with or without a safety plan. The SDM safety assessment helps with this decision. As the investigation concludes, the SDM risk assessment identifies the likelihood of future child protection system involvement. This is used to guide decisions about which cases to close after investigation and which cases to open for ongoing services.

Opened cases receive a Family Strengths and Needs assessment to identify issues to be addressed in a case plan and existing strengths on which to build. Service intensity is guided by the risk level, with families at higher risk for future child maltreatment having access to more intensive services. Then, at least every 120 days, reassessments guide decisions about whether to continue to provide services or to close a case. For children in out-of-home care, the reassessments guide decisions about whether to reunify the family, continue to work towards reunification, or change the permanency plan goal.

This set of assessment tools and contact guidelines comprises the SDM model. The SDM model and training materials are developed and provided by Evident Change; previously known as the Children’s Research Centre. For further information about Evident Change contact your SFNFCI SDM consultant.

If you or your agency is interested in SDM training and/or support and or have questions regarding SDM/IPS tools. Please contact your SFNFCI SDM consultant for further information

SDM Consultant: Rachel Andal 306-715-0800 and/or rachel@sfnfci.ca

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