Psychological assessments

Psychological assessments provide professionals with information about the current functioning of the individual parent in terms of their personality, mental health, cognitive capacity and any experiences of trauma and/or abuse. We provide comprehensive, concise reports of the full psychological assessment within four weeks from receipt of a letter of instruction.

The psychological assessment considers any difficulties identified in the context of the subsequent impact of on the parent's capacity to parent safely and appropriately. Conclusions are informed by a range of sources, including clinical interviews and observations, psychometric assessments, police and medical records, and analyses of parent-child interactions.

Psychological assessments are carried out by chartered clinical psychologists with considerable experience of working with parents in care proceedings and in working with the Family Court system.

Cognitive and litigation capacity assessments

Cognitive assessments focus on the capacity of a parent to use and retain information. When carried out early in the family's involvement with professionals, the findings of a cognitive assessment can ensure that communication and support are provided to the parent in a way that they can understand and use. Cognitive assessments involve a short clinical history taking and the administration of a standardised, validated measure of IQ. The findings and relevant recommendations are provided within two weeks of receipt of a letter of instruction.

Where there are concerns with regard to a parent's understanding of information crucial to the legal decision making process around their child, we are able to carry out assessments of 'Capacity to Instruct'. This involves the completion of a cognitive assessment (if this has not already been carried out) and a short interview.

The findings and an appropriately completed Certificate of Capacity are provided within two weeks of receipt of a letter of instruction.

Litigation capacity assessments are carried out by chartered clinical psychologists with considerable experience of working with parents in care proceedings and in working with the Family Court system.

Risk assessments

Our risk assessments are based upon the best practice, structured clinical risk assessment tools and are carried out by chartered, consultant clinical psychologists with specialist training in the application of risk assessment tools as well as considerable experience of working with parents in care proceedings and in working with the Family Court system.

Risk assessments are carried out through clinical interviews, relevant psychometric testing, and analysis of the court documents, particularly medical and police records. A report detailing the risks identified as well as any risk management recommendations and indications for therapy is provided four weeks from receipt of a letter of instruction.

Orchard House provide the following specialist risk assessments:

Psychological Assessment

To make a referral for a risk assessment or for more information, please contact Sammy Edwards on 01823 351785.