Parenting assessments

Where concerns have been raised about a child's welfare or a parent's capacity to provide safe and appropriate care, Orchard House social work led parenting assessments provide clear analysis of:

In some parents, there are significant psychological impediments to parenting. A psychological assessment considers the functioning of the parent in terms of their personality, mental health, cognitive capacity and any experiences of trauma and/or abuse. We then provide clear and concise indications of the capacity of the parent to make and sustain change, to any assessment of risk regarding the parent's behaviour and, if indicated, the therapeutic needs of the parent.

We have the resources and expertise to provide a tailored, social work led assessment for each family, including psychological input, and assessments in the community, through contact, or in a residential setting throughout the South West. We specialise in the provision of high-quality, evidence based assessments of:

The format and structure of each assessment is developed through discussions between the family, the local authority, Orchard House professionals and the children's Guardian.

Please see below for the different types of assessments we offer. If you would like to discuss the viability of an assessment or how we might be able to work with a family, please contact Nancy Sullivan, Safeguarding Manager, or Jon Parish, Psychologist & Admissions Manager.

We assess:

Parenting

 

 

Public Law Outline assessments

Where the local authority has concerns about a child's safety and the parenting that they receive, Orchard House Family Services offer a package of assessment, intervention and support to contribute to the Core Assessment.

This package can be put in place quickly following discussions with the lead social worker, reducing delay and collating the best quality data efficiently and effectively.

In addition to offering consultation to the social work team and other professionals involved with the family, we provide:

Orchard House Family Services offer each family a package of early intervention and support tailored to their needs and targeting the key concerns of the local authority. This might involve:

 

 

Assessments in the community and through contact

Where concerns have been raised about a child's welfare or a parent's capacity to provide safe and appropriate care, an Orchard House parenting assessment provides professionals with information about the levels of risks and resilience are for that family, recommendations of what support each member of the family might need, and the long term prognosis for change.

The safety and wellbeing of the child is paramount at Orchard House, and careful consideration is given to each family in order to determine the most appropriate, and the least restrictive, means of assessment necessary in order to provide a comprehensive assessment whilst ensuring the safety of the child.

Orchard House work closely with the professionals involved with the family, including the local authority and any mental health or other support services, in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child whilst assessments are carried out.

Orchard House work closely with the professionals involved with the family, including the local authority and any mental health or other support services, in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child whilst assessments are carried out.

Each assessment follows the Department of Health Framework of Assessment (2000) and is designed to meet the specific needs of each individual family. This means that the parent's capacity to provide care is considered in the context of the child's developmental needs and their environment, as well as the family's history. In addition to the social work led parenting assessment, Orchard House are able to provide comprehensive, multi-disciplinary assessments of child development, parental mental health and parent-child relationships and bonds.

The design and form of each assessment is developed through discussions between the family, the local authority, Orchard House professionals and the children's Guardian.

This includes the timescales of the assessment, how key information will be collected, as well as where the assessment will take place. Social work led parenting assessments can be offered in the family home, in a foster placement, or in our contact centre. Orchard House provide Community Assessments throughout the South West and beyond.

 

 

Residential parenting assessments

Our residential parenting assessments provide an exceptional and unparalleled level of safeguarding for children whilst assessments of a parent's capacity to provide full-time, primary care are made.

The level of direct observation by the highly experienced assessment team and the indirect observation via audio-visual CCTV allows a high level of risk to be managed safely, for example, for families where non-accidental injuries may have occurred, or where the risk of immediate harm to the child is high.

The level of monitoring and supervision of a child is variable depending on the needs of the family and is agreed by all parties involved prior to any changes in the assessment. This can include:

Residential parenting assessments are highly beneficial for families in which the parents need for intensive and round the clock support in order to learn and develop the skills necessary for child care, for example, young parents, parents who have been in care themselves, or parents with a range of learning difficulties. For these families, the parenting assessment can provide professionals with information about the parent's capacity to engage with support, their capacity to take in and implement advice and support, and the prognosis for their capacity to meet their child's needs in the long term

Parenting Assessment

Residential parenting assessments are led by skilled Senior Social Workers, with the support of an experienced Family Support Team of dedicated and highly trained staff. Orchard House also benefits from very close working relationships with a highly experienced multi-disciplinary team of Clinical Psychologists, Community Psychiatric Nurses, and an Educational Psychologist, with access to both Psychiatric and Paediatric Consultants. This allows Orchard House to meet the needs of a range of children and families and to provide assessments that are comprehensive and informed.

Progress meetings for the parents and the Orchard House assessment team are held weekly. Placement Reviews for all parties and professionals involved in the assessment are held every two or four weeks, as agreed at the planning meeting. At the conclusion of the assessment period, a clear and concise final report is produced detailing our conclusions and recommendations.

The transition from a residential setting to the community can be a difficult one for families and a step that can involve a change in the level of risk. Orchard House is able to offer continuity of staffing for community assessments, or a period of assessment in one of our community bases with support and monitoring, prior to the family returning to their own home.

 

 

Assessments of parents with a learning disability

Parenting Assessment

Orchard House carry out clear, comprehensive assessments of parent with learning difficulties, or specific learning needs, such as an acquired brain injury

Our Assessment Team and the Family Support Workers:

Clinical psychologists work closely with the team in providing intervention and feedback to parents where cognitive impairments are known to be present. Our staff team are particularly skilled in using video-feedback, a technique considered best practice in supporting parents to learn, change and develop.

All assessments of parenting involving parents with any level of learning difficulty, learning disability, or limited experience of parenting use the Parenting Assessment Manual (McGaw, 2000).

This assessment tool was designed to help identify their understanding of parenting concerns, areas of help they feel they require and their understanding of risk. Each parenting skill area within a domain is assessed for 'parent's knowledge', 'parent's skills' and observations of how the parent puts their skills and knowledge into practice when caring for their child. By breaking elements of parenting down into testable components, PAMS makes an assessment of parenting that is evidence-based.