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Child and Family Assessment

  • I have completed my assessment in 15 days or sought approval from my Manager to extend the timescale of the assessment due to the complexity of need, for example where a child has a disability or complex health needs

  • I have clearly recorded the reasons for the assessment with issues, risks and concerns evident

  • I have sought information from partner agencies and discussed with them any potential needs/risks and strengths which impact on the child

  • I have made it clear to parents and child/young person why Children’s Social Care is involved, what we will be doing and the likely outcomes

  • I understand the identity, cultural and ethnicity needs of the family and consider them as part of the overall assessment

  • The family know I have conducted an assessment and their views and opinions are recorded within the assessment. I have seen evidence of the parent’s identity and visas or leave to remain if applicable

  • I have advised the original referrer and all relevant agencies what will happen next

  • I have arranged a Child In Need meeting prior to completion of the assessment but where I know it will exceed 15 days, in order to ensure that immediate needs of the family are being met, whilst a fuller assessment is being undertaken and to ensure timely sharing of information

  • I have seen the child/young person alone and where possible gained their views and separately recorded them (if I have not seen the child/young person I have recorded reasons why not)

  • I have ensured that all children/young people in the family have been considered as part of the assessment. I have identified if there are any other children living in the household, (not from the family I am assessing) or connected to it, and ensured that their safeguarding needs are being met

  • I have paid regard to race, ethnicity, gender, disability, religion and nationality of the family and my assessment reflects these areas

  • I have identified all adult members of the household in my assessment including those who may be temporarily absent (e.g. in custody, in psychiatric hospital)

  • I have reviewed the family finances with the parents

  • I have ensured that previous case history including past referrals and assessments (including early help assessments) and old case files in respect of any member of the household, has been considered and incorporated into the assessment. I have ensured that the child’s chronology is updated and included the case history of significant events for the child

  • I have ensured that risk and protective factors have been clearly identified and assessed. I have been careful to distinguish fact from opinion

  • My record clearly shows what I have found and what I think should happen next including the rationale for this

  • The child/young person is central to my assessment and my assessment identifies the needs of the child/young person (and family). I have included a realistic, detailed picture of the child/young person and what it is like to be a child in this family

  • I have used appropriate questionnaires, scales or other tools to inform the assessment

  • I have used risk assessment tools where necessary to identify and manage risk

  • My assessment evidences that research findings have been used to assess risk and inform my decision-making

  • In my assessment I have recorded a picture of the parents, their parenting strengths and weaknesses and any areas where they are not meeting the child/young person’s needs
  • I have ensured that the child and their family know what will happen next
  • My analysis and decision-making clearly evidences my findings, links back to the original concerns and any other issues, including history of all family/household members, and I have made recommendations for any future work within Children’s Social Care or Early Help

  • I have discussed my assessment, analysis and recommendations with my Manager who has signed off my assessment

  • I have given a copy of the completed assessment to the family and young person where relevant, and have invited them to comment

  • I have undertaken a re-assessment when a significant incident has occurred or every 12 months

  • For Children in Care I have considered the past experiences of the child and what research tells us about the long term impact. I have used this to assess the current care provided and needed to ensure that the child reaches their full potential.  My Assessment has informed my care plan

  • I have completed an assessment that evidences the family are no longer requiring support at level 3 on the Descriptions of Need. This assessment demonstrates the journey made for the child and the impact services have had

A Good assessment provides the reader with a clear picture of what life is like for the child.  It considers past, current and potential needs, risks and strengths to inform a plan that supports the family.  Research is used in assessment to analyse the information and develop a plan.  Good assessments are multi-agency and involve carers and children.  Good assessments use differing tools to draw out from children their; wishes, feelings, fears, positives all of which help practitioners determine the type and level of support required. 

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Useful Information

To make a referral to the Local Authority Designated Officer please call the LADO Secretary on 01744 671265