CASPARS: New tools for assessing client risks and strengths

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This article is part one of a two-part series on the Clinical Assessment Package for Assessing Client Risks and Strengths (CASPARS), a newly developed set of five instruments that give equal consideration to client strengths and risks. Part two will appear in the next issue of Families in Society and shows the clinical applications of the CASPARS. The instruments are Family Relationships, Emotional Expressiveness, Family Embeddedness in Community, Peer Relationships, and Sexuality. For the present article, the CASPARS were tested on a sample of 146 children and their families. The coefficient alphas and inter-rater reliabilities were .9 and above. Item-total analysis suggest good content validity, and construct validities are within acceptable ranges. The instruments are unusual in that they yield two scores: a risk score and an asset score. Responsive to the demand for clinical tools that help practitioners focus on client strengths, the instruments guide intervention toward the goals of increasing strengths and decreasing risks. The items of the instruments were developed from in-depth case studies, research and theory on risk and resilience, and the experience of direct practitioners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-459
Number of pages10
JournalFamilies in Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999


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