Our reporting system is fundamental to providing the best service for referring agencies. The assessment itself is an interactive, evidence based process. It considers all aspects of an individual’s (and where two parents are being assessed, a couple’s) parenting capacity. It is fundamental in providing the best service for parents and referring agencies.
Our assessment framework is based on The Department of Health ‘Framework of Assessment of Needs of Children and Families and Assessment Guidance (2000). This is complimented by other assessment techniques such as the secure base model of attachment, Sheridan’s model of assessing children’s physical development, Prochaska and Prochaska’s cycle of change and likelihood of change and the ARP model to assess attachment behaviour and mentalising capacity.
We use the PAMs model developed by Sue McGaw for undertaking assessments for parents with learning difficulties and our assessors are PAMS trained.
All of our staff have been trained by Professor David Shemmings and his team in the Attachment and Relationship Based Practice(ARP) model.
These assessment tools help to provide a comprehensive format and are a good indication of the parental capacity to provide good enough parenting in order to meet the developing needs of their child. The conclusion of the assessment report is based on the criteria outlined by the Welfare Checklist. Genograms and Ecomaps are incorporated in assessments when appropriate.
Our assessments focus on secure primary and secondary attachments and we strive for all parents to achieve an understanding of being able to provide their child with a safe and secure base.
The range of staff and their diverse abilities provide focused complementary support that works well around the family. The staff collaboratively interrogate and assess what is best for a child, looking at all the concerns from the perspective of a variety of disciplines such as early years, social work and health. The staff work hard to identify and consider whether they have any biases which may affect their assessments, support and guidance to families.
Our experienced team offer different learning styles and formats to make learning less threatening and more enjoyable. They follow a number of accepted best practice and social work approaches whilst embracing new researched learning methods. All Residential Resource Workers are trained in observation and listening techniques and this forms part of their induction. From these observations, the quality of relationships between parent and child and the child’s attachment to the parent can be assessed. The child’s appearance and manner are noted, as is the parent’s ability to anticipate and respond to the child’s needs and to show care and affection, the tone of voice when speaking to, or about, the child and the way in which the child is described. Observation of adult-child body language, interactions and behaviours, often provides crucial information.
All staff contribute to the daily records of the parents, which provide the basis for analysis, decision-making and plans about the child and family. Summaries of the daily recordings are incorporated into reviews and reports prepared by the lead assessment worker. A daily assessment record outlining strengths and areas for development is shared with the parents at the end of each day. If any parent has difficulty reading written records support will be given and a member of the staff team will read records to the parent. Where English is not their first language, we use an Interpreter to aid understanding.
On recruitment, Residential Family Workers undertake a thorough induction programme during which appropriate training is provided and techniques are explained and discussed. Staff receive regular one to one supervision which provides an opportunity to discuss any difficulties ensure that they are meeting their personal professional goals and the needs of the company. Staff also receive group supervision facilitated by an experienced external group facilitator. Staff meetings are held once a month to discuss case management and all relevant issues pertinent to the service and to review the assessment progress in relation to each family.
We also offer outreach work and advice regarding the support required when a family leaves Majestic. We feel that it is vital that all families receive a planned exit, identifying specifically the areas of support a parent would need if they were to continue to parent their child in the community.
Assessments are conducted extremely well. The balance between assessment, support and guidance is thoughtful and reflective. Assessments change to consider the current parenting issues and parents progress quickly and responsively. One parent said in feedback to the centre: ‘Everyone works as a team. I could not ask for more support from them. They have made me more confident.