Interview Scheduling

Case-related interviews and stakeholder interviews are key components of the onsite review. These interviews are arranged before the review week begins.

Case-Related Interviews

Each review pair is responsible for reviewing the case records they are assigned and interviewing key individuals involved in the cases. In general, the following individuals related to a case will be interviewed unless they are unavailable or completely unwilling to participate:

  • The child, if he or she is school age. Cases involving preschool-age children may be reviewed but do not require an interview with the child. Instead, the reviewers might observe the child in the home while interviewing the birth or foster parents.
  • The child’s parents.
  • The child’s foster parents, pre-adoptive parents, or other caregivers, such as a relative caregiver or group home houseparent, if the child is in foster care.
  • The family’s caseworker. When the caseworker has left the agency or is no longer available for interview, it may be necessary to schedule interviews with the supervisor who was responsible for the caseworker assigned to the family.
  • Other professionals knowledgeable about the case. When numerous service providers are involved with a child or family, it may be necessary to schedule interviews only with those most recently involved, those most knowledgeable about the family, or those who provide the primary services the family is receiving. More than one service provider may be interviewed.

As needed, on a case-by-case basis, other individuals who have relevant information about the case also may be interviewed. These individuals may include the child’s guardian ad litem, advocate, or other family members. If possible, interviews with parents, foster parents, and children should be conducted in their homes or foster homes. Service providers may be interviewed wherever it is most convenient for them and the review pair. When travel arrangements and the schedules of reviewers preclude travel to those locations, or when persons to be interviewed prefer not to have reviewers in their homes or offices, the interviews may take place in a central location or by telephone.

Case Record Interview Scheduling

The Local Site Coordinator handles all case record interview scheduling. He or she will generally allow time at the beginning of each day for reviewers to read the cases before the first interview is scheduled. Each interview is typically scheduled for 1 hour or less, and the Local Site Coordinator will build in time between interviews for any necessary travel. Additionally, he or she will prepare, in advance, maps or other written directions to the interview sites and provide these to each review pair. The interviews scheduled for each day will correspond to the case that the review pair is expected to complete that day

In general, the caseworker will not be present at the interview. If, however, concerns exist about the safety of reviewers or other issues related to the interview, the Local Site Coordinator will take the necessary precautions, such as arranging for the interview to be held in the local child welfare agency office. If special accommodations are required to complete an interview, for example, to address language needs, the Local Site Coordinator will make those arrangements as well, including obtaining an interpreter, if needed. Before the review week begins, the Local Site Coordinator will prepare the individuals being interviewed for their interviews. This preparation will include helping them to understand the purpose of the review and confirming the time and location of the interview in writing.

Stakeholder Interviews

Stakeholder interviews can involve State or local stakeholders. The State Team Leader schedules State stakeholder interviews, in collaboration with the NRT and Children's Bureau Regional Office Team Leaders, and confirms the appointments in writing. On average, around 15 State stakeholder interviews are scheduled for the review week, unless the NRT or Children's Bureau Regional Office Team Leaders request additional interviews. Each interview is normally scheduled to last an hour or more, with time built in for travel between interviews.

Local stakeholder interviews are scheduled by the Local Site Coordinator. As with State interviews, there are usually around 15 local stakeholder interviews per review site unless the NRT or Children's Bureau Regional Office requests additional interviews. They may be conducted either at the local agency or where the stakeholders are located.