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Child and Family Assessment

"Assessment should be a dynamic process, which analyses and responds to the changing nature and level of need and/or risk faced by the child” (Working together to Safeguard Children).

Child and family assessments are a way of working with children, parents and families to make sure that they have the right help as soon as possible. It includes listening and talking with children, parents and families and other professionals who know them to find out what help and support is needed.

Social workers who conduct child and family assessments must listen carefully to what the child, parent and family has to say, offer advice, and if necessary, offer services to support them with the care of the child to meet the changing nature and level of need in order to analyse the risk faced by the child  ensuring  that the child is safe from harm.

The Child and Family assessment should include responses to the following questions:

  • What is the reason for the referral, the assessment should address any concerns identified?
  • Objectives and legal framework;
  • Theoretical basis;
  • Who needs to be seen, where and how often?
  • Every assessment will include each child being seen and listened to on their own, or social work observations if assessing babies;
  • If consent has been overridden, the reasons why and how this is addressed;
  • Full assessments will include direct work with children. This would normally require seeing the child on a number of occasions;
  • Consider whether any additional expert involvement is required e.g. Psychological assessment; AIM assessment;
  • Consider any additional needs of any family members (parents with learning difficulties may benefit from a PAMS assessment).

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