Assessment and Services
for the Legal Profession
Expert Witness Service (Member Academy of Experts)
Age Assessments and Refugee
In response to the changing needs of professionals and local
authorities we have restructured our assessment and rehabilitation services.
concentrates on day assessments; ‘outpatient’
assessment; community and outreach work and assessment or
rehabilitation of families and individuals either in their own accommodation
or in accommodation provided by local authorities etc.
to request services.
We are able to provide assessment in the
community and natural settings of the client's own home. Our services
include video recording of sessions and parent / child interaction in addition to family rehabilitation and
therapy. Staff are highly qualified and experienced in the field of child protection,
assessment and court work.
therapeutic work - long and short term
· Assessment and court work
· Therapy / treatment programme
· Education, parenting and life skills
A community assessment involves assessment of
the individuals involved with regard to psychological issues, emotions,
abilities and coping skills, developmental assessment of the children;
parenting assessment and relationships and attachment between the family
members. It would also consider risks and welfare of the children.
This is conducted by means of visits to the
family home, observation of contact with the children - either at the home
or at an alternative venue if they are not placed with the parent and may
include other settings such as school or nursery.
An assessment usually includes sessions spread
over a three to six week period depending on circumstances and reports
generally take on average a further week to complete. Urgent assessments can be
condensed into a shorter period if required.
staff support, guidance
and monitoring in the community.
Information for referring agencies -
- Comment from an Article
Rehabilitation and the family -
Working in the field of child protection particularly when it involves the assessment of a
family is an area fraught with difficulties. All families have problems of one degree or another. All children make
their parents angry at times, most toddlers have tantrums, normal couples have
blazing rows, children will compete with each other and little girls do have crushes on
their fathers. Where do we draw the line - the boundary between what is acceptable and
what is harmful, abusive and requires professional intervention? And if we do intervene - how can we be sure that our intervention is
helpful and does not in itself cause more harm than good? The needs of the individual are not necessarily compatible with the
needs of the group - in this case the family - and weighing up these needs and placing
them in some order of priority can be nigh on impossible. It requires empathy and
sensitivity and above all a high level of professionalism.
This professional weighing up of the facts in a case is very often conducted in a
forbidding manner. All too often cases go to court and are decided by the judicial system
when a more informal, perhaps more caring approach could have brought better results.
Nevertheless the court is often the final arena where fundamental questions require
answers. Should this mother be allowed a chance to have her child back? Should a child be
brought up by her natural parent? Can you achieve good bonding after a prolonged
separation? Is a child more harmed by a failed rehabilitation? Should a teenage mother be
encouraged to bond with her child? What is the aftermath of parental loss?
Certainly there are differences in perspective - social workers know
that if errors are made, the media will point the finger of blame in
their direction; paediatricians may see neglected children gaining weight in hospital away
from their families; child psychiatrists look at the disorganised family structure and
find it hard to see a child being able to overcome parental patterns.
A teenage mother may well prove, with help to be an excellent parent,
able to meet her childs needs in a way that cannot be faulted. On the other hand she
may be too much of a child herself , needing love, care and attention which her child
cannot supply. The same situation could apply to a mother who is for other reasons unable
to meet her childs needs - by virtue of mental or physical illness or deprived
circumstances. It is important that such mothers and fathers be given the chance to
explore their own potential - to be supported and encouraged and allowed to share in the
decision whether to parent their own children or give them over to the care of another.
Y S Services -
The Bridge -
to request services.