Assessments start with a conversation with the adults and children.  It isn’t a form filling exercise, and should be a live document that is regularly added to as information changes.  Assessments should include clear plans with identified goals, and these goals should be regularly reviewed. 

Assessments should be:

  • clear

  • factual

  • relevant

  • up to date

  • evidence based

  • sufficiently detailed to enable good decision making.

The assessment then supports the practitioner to understand what life is like for the child and family, and determine what services are needed to improve life for the child and family.

The assessment should always be shared with the child (depending on their age and understanding) and parent/ carers and practitioners who are contributing to meeting the needs.  The following are good practice guidelines:

  • Check if any other involved professional is completing or has completed an assessment.  Consider joint assessments to ensure all the family’s needs are captured.  Wherever possible duplication of assessments should be avoided in order to maximise the professional’s time spent and minimise repetition and stress for the family. 

  • If you are not completing a statutory assessment, an Early Help Assessment can be used to support the identification of needs for a child, young person and their family. This information can support a contact to social work services in relation to a child in need or child in need of protection. 

  • Where domestic abuse, mental health problems, substance misuse and or learning disability are present in a family, assessment must take account of the impact on the care provided to  adults at risk, children and young people.

To learn more about Early Help Assessments click here


Further information on Think Family Work Family

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