Why are you having an assessment?
Either you, or someone else on your behalf, has asked for help with an issue which affects your child (children) or they may be worried about you and / or your child (children).
What is a Child and Family Assessment?
To help us in our work with you, we need to know more about you and your family. A social worker, with help from you, your family and other agencies, will gather information about you.
Your family’s written agreement will be needed before we speak to other people or other agencies. This process of getting to understand the situation, needs and wishes of your child and family is called a ‘Child and Family Assessment’.
A Child and Family Assessment helps to agree with you what help and support you and your family might need and who could best give this help.
How long will it take?
A Child and Family Assessment is completed when there is enough information to make a decision about what support you may need. The length and depth of the assessment will be agreed by your child’s social worker with their manager.
If we are going to continue with the assessment beyond 10 days, a meeting will be arranged for us to meet with you, and all the other agencies who are involved with your family to agree a plan of work. This is where you will meet the social worker who will ensure the actions agreed at the meeting are carried out and completes the Child and Family Assessment.
During our involvement with your family, we may need to refresh the Child and Family Assessment to reflect the current situation.
How can you help us?
Most parents want to do their best for their child (children). Completing the assessment will help your child’s social worker recognise the strengths you and your family have, as well as any areas of difficulty.
How is a Child and Family Assessment carried out?
Your child’s social worker will meet with you and your family a number of times. With your written agreement they will also talk to other people and professionals to gather and share relevant information to complete the Child and Family Assessment. They will always do this in a way that helps you to have your say and encourages you to take part. Where children are old enough to take part in the assessment, the social worker will help and encourage them to do so.
Every effort will be made to take account of your ethnic and cultural heritage in the assessment. We can arrange an interpreter to help us communicate with you in your first language.
After the Child and Family Assessment has been written by your child’s social worker and authorised by their manager, this will be sent to you in the post. If you need it translated into another language this will be arranged for you.
If you do not agree with what is written in the assessment, you can record your point of view on the assessment document and return this to the Children’s Team that completed the assessment and they will ensure your views on the assessment are clearly recorded.
What can you expect of us?
- We will listen carefully to what you have to say, offer advice and, if appropriate, support you to bring up your children and deal with any areas of difficulty.
- We will keep you informed about what we are doing and thinking.
- With a little help most families can sort out their difficulties and our aim is to help you do that.
What do you do with my information?
Your written consent to share information about you with other relevant people and agencies is important. Your child’s social worker will discuss this with you. You will be asked to sign a consent form.
We will record any relevant information we gather on computer records. You will be given a leaflet explaining your rights to see information held about you.
We treat any information you give us in confidence within the organisation, among those needing to know. If we need to discuss it with anyone else, we will usually ask your permission. The only exception is if we get information that suggests there are child protection issues. Your child’s social worker will discuss this with you.