Court Work

ASSESSMENT OF PARENTING ABILITIES FOR COURT ETC


I need at least 8 weeks to complete this in-depth assessment.  

This Assessment Tool was developed by Jeff Fowler and incorporates the concepts and requirements of the "Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (DOH 2000) as used in the UK. It does not seek to replace the DOH 2000 in any way and is designed to provide additional material which can be used in conjunction with that framework.(Jeff Fowler: A Practitioner's Tool for Child Protection and the Assessment of Parents. London, 2003).


It is important that I will not use the checklists as "stand-alone" sources of information as some parents may reflect themselves in a different light or may not entirely truthful with the answers they give to the checklist questions.  Therefore I will also use the time to observe the interaction between the parents and their children. The assessment is not rigid and as an experienced social worker,  I sometimes use my own material or exclude some of the checklists if necessary. 
In identifying the needs of children and their families, the assessment information collected should be considered within the context of other information and existing reports, for example, psychiatric reports. (Fowler P.16)

The tool is child-centered and family-focused and includes the following areas:
  • The risk indicator checklist
  • Experiences from Childhood
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Perception of Self
  • Ideal Self
  • Self Esteem
  • Exploring whether people are organized or disorganized, rigid or flexible
  • Exploring dominant and submissive behavior
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Anger and Violence
  • Schedule 1 Offences
  • Criminal History
  • Health
  • Previous relationships
  • Present relationships
  • Parenting skills and abilities
  • Perception of children
  • Perception of being a parent
  • Parenting and Stress
  • Parenting the needs of children
  • The child
  • Attachment
  • Home Environment
  • Finances
  • Child Protection concerns
  • Evaluation of the Information.

The format I use for this assessment was very popular in England as mentioned in the feedback I got from the Court Professionals: see below -

 "Just to say a big thank you for the Assessment prepared on A.M. It was first class. Since yesterday's hearing, I have received commendations from our Barrister, Guardian, and the other Solicitors on the quality and depth of the assessment report. May I say and it was commented on by others, this report was better that we get from most Independent SW's. When we have in house quality of this standard we must use. Thank you so much. It was a pleasure to read and it really nailed it.  - Manager Legal Team. Swindon, UK.

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