The assessment of risk is a critical part of child welfare agency practice. This review of the research literature on different instruments for assessing risk and safety in child welfare focuses on instrument reliability, validity, outcomes, and use with children and families of color. The findings suggest that the current actuarial instruments have stronger predictive validity than consensus-based instruments. This review was limited by the variability in definitions and measures across studies, the relatively small number of studies examining risk assessment instruments, and the lack of studies on case decision points other than the initial investigation.
Amy C. D’Andrade, M Austin, and A Benton. "Risk and safety assessment in child welfare: Instrument comparisons" Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work (2008): 31-56. doi:10.1300/J394v05n01_03