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Brief Focused Assessment (BFA)

What is it all about?

Per the Association of Family and Concilliation Courts (AFCC): 1. BFAs address specific, narrowly defined referral question(s) identified by a judge or designated judicial officer in a court order. 2. The purpose of BFAs is to provide the judge in a family court dispute with information generated through reliable procedures regarding focused questions that have been identified by the court as important to the resolution of family matters. 3. In BFAs, an appropriately trained clinician, in a court, agency or private setting, conducts interviews with parents and their children, observes parent-child interaction, reviews relevant records and consults relevant collateral contacts. There may be additional activities conducted in connection with the assessment (see section X). The evaluation process is guided by the focused question(s) provided by the court or judicial officer. 4. BFAs differ from Parenting Time Evaluations in their narrower scope, more descriptive reporting of data and, consequently, more limited inference making. Comprehensive evaluations, by contrast, are designed to provide data on more broadly based questions about general family functioning and parenting capacity that are not appropriate to the BFA model.

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