Attending to how family members behave in relation to their emotional involvement with each other, as it is demonstrated in the family's structural, functional, communicational, and developmental patterns or fit, is essential to truly understanding the behavior of individual clients. Family assessment is important to certified nurse-midwives working with childbearing and childrearing women. Assessing families can help certified nurse-midwives to promote women's health and to assist with skill development for subsequent generations of women, children, and families. This paper is an overview of basic concepts of family assessment, with particular emphasis on clinical application of family theory. The focus is on assessing fit and on skills that the certified nurse-midwife can use for family assessment in daily clinical practice.