Instrument 2 Phase 1


Family Assessment

In the Family Assessment, we use several instruments of registration and systematization of information to make a better diagnosis of the student's context.  We propose the use of the Culturagram. This should be developed together with the family.


It is not always possible to obtain all the data about the household from children and young persons. In these cases, it might be useful to interview the parents or legal representatives of the student in order to obtain more information about the family context, which may directly or indirectly influence the integration of the child and/or young person in a school context. 

When interviewing the family, it may be necessary to have a translator and to support your communication with aids like pictograms or images.

Knowing 10 areas through interviewing the student and family

(cf. Congress & González, 2021)

  • Reasons for relocation

  • Legal status

  • Amount of time in the community

  • Language spoken at home and in the community 

  • Health beliefs and access

  • Impact of trauma and crisis events

  • Contact with cultural and religious institutions, holidays and special events, food, and clothing

  • Experience of oppression and discrimination, bias, and racism

  • Values about education and work

  • Values about family structure – power, hierarchy, rules, subsystems, and boundaries.

Below is a set of questions that can help you to build the Culturagram with the student’s family:

Reason for relocation or immigration

  • What made you decide to come to this community or country?

  • What about this community or country made you decide to come here?

  • How was it that you decided to leave your old home or country to relocate here?

Legal Status

  • What is your legal situation in your host country?

  • Do you have all the documentation in order?

Time in the community

  • How long have you lived in this community?

  • When did you come to this community? 

  • When you moved here where did you move from? 

  • Have you always lived in this community or country?

  • How old were you when you came to this community or country? Who moved to this community or country with you?

  • How would you describe the neighbourhood that you live in?

  • Do you feel safe walking in your community?

  • How many of your family members live with you?

  • Who do you go to when you have a question or concern?

  • Is there someone, a group or an organization that is there when you need them?

  • Who are the people who help you take care of your child?

  • Are they related to you or your child?

  • Do babysitters, neighbours or other friends help you take care of your child

Languages spoken

  • Do you speak more than one language?  

  • What languages do you speak other than English?

  • How many languages do you speak?

  • What language do you speak at home and in community?

Health and mental health beliefs and practices

  • What does it mean to you to be well or in good health? In your opinion, what is needed for a person to be in good health?

  • What are some of the ways that your parents cared for you when you were sick and had a cold?  Do you do the same thing with you child or children?

  • When someone in your family is sad, or behaves very differently than they usually do, what do you do?

Impact of trauma and crisis events

  • How has trauma affected your family across generations?

  • How have traumas or other crises affected you and/or family?

  • Has there been a specific family crisis?

  • Did the family experience traumatic events prior to migration (e.g. war, other forms of violence, displacement including refugee camps, or similar experiences?

  • What are the things in life that makes you feel stressed?

  •  When you are stressed, how do you react? Where do go for support? And what kind   of help do you seek?

  • How do you know when your child is stressed? How do you respond? How do other family members respond? What do you do to help your child when he is stressed?

Contact with cultural and religious institutions, holidays and special events, food, and clothing

  • Are there specific religious holidays that your family observes?

  • What holidays do you celebrate?

  • Are there specific foods that are important to you?  That you try to avoid? 

  • Does clothing play a significant cultural or religious role for you?

  • Do you belong to a cultural or social club or organization?

Oppression and discrimination, bias, and racism

  • Is there a history of oppression and discrimination in your homeland?

  • How have you and your family experienced discrimination since migration?

Values about education and work

  • How much importance do you place on work, family, and education?

  • What are the educational expectations for children within the family?

  • Has your work status changes (e.g. level of responsibility, prestige, and power) since migration?

  • Do you or does anyone in your family work several jobs?

Values about family structure – power, hierarchy, rules, subsystems, and boundaries.

  • Do you have a large family? If so, how many people are in your family?

  • Who do you consider to be part of your family? 

  • Are there specific gender roles and expectations in your family?

  • Who holds the power within the family?

  • Are family needs more important than, or equally as important as, individual needs?

  • Whom do you consider family?

  • When you think of your child and family, what things are important to you?

  • All parents have hopes and dreams for their children’s future, what are yours?

  • If you could name your top five values, what would they be? 

  • How do you expect your child to behave in the house? When you go out? 

  • What happens if your child misbehaves or does not do what you expect him to do?

  • How do you teach your child to listen to you and do what you ask him to do?