Self-Assessment Index (SAX)

The Self-Assessment Index differs from other tests, in that it was designed specifically, for welfare-to-work recipient screening. What other test measures cloaked issues, like recipients' truthfulness, substance (alcohol and other drugs) use, barriers to employment, and recipients' abilities to handle stress? The Self-Assessment Index has, empirically, demonstrated reliability, validity, and accuracy. And, the Self-Assessment Index is affordable.

The Self-Assessment Index is designed to screen welfare recipients applying for welfare-to-work programs. The Self-Assessment has 103 items and takes 30 minutes to complete. Automated (computer-scored) reports are available on-site, within two minutes of data entry. The Self-Assessment has five (5) measures (scales): 1. Truthfulness Scale, 2. Alcohol Scale, 3. Drug Scale, 4. Work Index Scale, and 5. Stress Coping Abilities Scale. The Self-Assessment measures recipient truthfulness, quantifies substance (alcohol and other drugs) use or abuse, evaluates work attitudes, and assesses stress coping abilities. The Self-Assessment Index is much more than just another alcohol or drug test.

Five (5) Self-Assessment Index Scales

Many of these factors (expense, transportation, family support, child care responsibilities, etc.) are subtle, but important barriers to job training and employment. Other factors are more visible (substance abuse and stress coping) and equally important.

The Self-Assessment Index assesses attitudes and behaviors, yielding a welfare recipient profile. The Self-Assessment was developed, specifically, for welfare-to-work evaluation. The Self-Assessment is much more than just another alcohol or drug test; consequently, it measures important attitudes/behaviors missed by other tests. It is brief (103 items), yet effective, when screening barriers to employment.

Why Use The Self-Assessment Index?

Early detection of welfare recipients' barriers to employment, facilitates quicker intervention, which increases the probability of successful employment. This type of information can, also, help in selecting job skill training objectives.

At one sitting, of approximately 15 to 20 minutes' duration, (testing time) staff can acquire a vast amount of welfare recipient information, which facilitates timely intervention and improves job placement success.

Advantages of Screening

Assessment or screening instruments (tests) filter out individuals with serious problems that represent barriers to employment. Serious or severe problems may warrant referral for intervention (e.g., AA, NA or CA meetings, or stress management groups) or treatment (e.g., counseling). This filtering system works, as follows:

Risk Category

Risk Range Percentile

Total Percentage

Low Risk

0 - 39%


Medium Risk

40 - 69%


Problem Risk

70 - 89%


Severe Problem

90 - 100%


Reference to the above table shows that a problem is not identified until a scale score is at, or above the 70th percentile. These risk range percentiles are based upon the Self-Assessment's expanding database. This procedure is fair and avoids extremes, i.e., over-identification or under-identification of problems.

A department or agency's policy might refer clients, with "severe" problem, (11%) for further evaluation, intervention, or treatment services. In this case, eleven percent (11%) of the people screened (Severe Problem, 90th to 100th percentile score) would be referred.

Or, contingent upon staff adopted policy, people with problems and severe problems might be referred. In this case, thirty-one percent (31%) of the people screened (Problem Risk and Severe Problem) would be referred.

In these examples, 89% or 69% (contingent upon adopted policy) of the people screened would not be referred for additional (and expensive) services. Budgetary savings (dollars) would be large, with no compromises in clients receiving appropriate evaluation and/or treatment services. Indeed, more welfare recipients would receive needed help. Without a screening program, there is usually more risk of over, or under-utilization of additional, professional services.

Selecting a Welfare Recipient Assessment or Screening Instrument..

If you are selecting a welfare recipient assessment instrument or test, the following Comparison Checklist should be helpful. This checklist itemizes important assessment and screening qualities. The "Other" column represents any other test you might want to compare to the Self-Assessment Index.


Comparison Category



Designed Specifically for Welfare Recipients


Test Reliability and Validity Research Provided


Test Completed in 15 to 20 Minutes


Reports within 2 Minutes On-Site


Truthfulness Scale to Detect Minimization and Faking


Truth-Corrected Scores for Accuracy


Three Test Administration Options


1. Paper-Pencil (English-Spanish)


2. On Computer Screen (English and Spanish)


3. Human Voice Audio (English and Spanish)


Delete Client Names (insures confidentiality) Program


HIPPA (federal regulation) Compliant


Test Data Input Verification (insures accuracy) Program


Built-in Database at No Additional Cost


Annual Database Research (Free)


Alcohol and Drug Scales


Work Index Scale (Measures Values and Attitudes to Work)


Stress Coping Abilities Scale


Standardized on Welfare-to-Work Applicants


Easily Understood and Helpful reports


Staff Training (Free)


Examination Kits (Free)


Very Affordable Test Unit Fee


This completes the comparison checklist