For most schools, it is a time of budget constraints. School superintendents need to ensure that state and local mandates are met, while increasing efficiency and cost savings. The assessments available in FAS Outcomes®, our web hosted technology, can assist school social workers, psychologists, and counselors in quickly and easily learning about a youth’s needs and day-to-day functioning. The JIFF is a self-administered, computerized interview, which generates an assessment report and a Service Plan for each youth. Kids really enjoy completing the online interview! It gives the staff a view into the youth’s life and factors that may be contributing to poor functioning. The strengths-based goals, which are nominated by the software based on the youth’s answers, help develop effective strategies. The JIFF Interviewer® (JIFF®) is cost effective because it is self-administered and does NOT require training or a clinician to administer. Some schools also use the Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS®) for more in-depth assessments for youth receiving an IEP. Our assessments can help with critical educational objectives:
- Attendance issues, which are closely tied to maintaining school funding. You can work with youth with ongoing poor attendance as well as with youth who are just starting to show a pattern of poor attendance (early intervention before it is too late). This helps with increasing student count and retention until graduation. The JIFF results are also useful when school officers work with the youth & adolescent justice system around truancy or delinquent behavior.
- Behavior problems, as indicated by discipline referrals, in or out-of-school suspensions, as well direct referrals from teachers. Early identification of behavioral problems and/or emotional concerns can lessen the burden on teachers, reduce the impact this negative behavior has on the learning of classmates, and ultimately, prevent expulsions. Expulsions have a negative fiscal impact on schools.
- Assessment for Special Education Services, as the JIFF and CAFAS provide information that is relevant to developing a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) or an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP).
- Management of Crises, because in some cases getting the youth and caregiver’s view of the youth’s current functioning can help keep the focus on the current situation and strategies for problem solving. (There is a Caregiver version of the JIFF that asks parents about the youth’s functioning and the parent’s “burdens”.)
- Poor Test Scores for selected youth, because the JIFF determines if there are non-academic factors contributing to the youth’s poor performance (e.g., family stresses, conflicts or transitions; mental health concerns; substance use; etc.)