Framework for the Assessment of Children and their Families Essay

The Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families ( which I will mention to as the appraisal model in this assignment ) is an ecological model that includes personal. intra-personal. inter-personal and sociological influences on development. It was developed in response to findings from a programme of research on kid protection ( Department of Health 1995 ) . and a series of authorities reviews ( Social Services Inspectorate 1997a. B ) . Social workers frequently have to equilibrate the demands of kids and households with bureau demands. which Davies ( 1997 ) . points out are frequently underpinned by a legal authorization therefore answerability is a complex construct in societal work.

The assessment model provides a systematic manner of assemblage. analyzing. apprehension and entering what is go oning to kids and immature people within their households and the wider context of the community in which they live. ( Department of Health. Department for Education and Employment. Home Office. 2000 ) ; and the accomplishment in project and entering an appraisal harmonizing to Coulshed & A ; Orme ( 1998 p. 26 ) lies in the ability of professionals to roll up sufficiency of the right sort of information and this can merely be done in the right sort of environment. Cleaver and Walker’s ( 2003 ) research survey found that the execution of the appraisal model overall has been successful. it has facilitated joint working between bureaus holding a profound influence on policy and pattern in children’s services.

The Every Child Matters policy enterprise was a positive societal policy programme in a batch of respects and a accelerator for extremist reform nevertheless some of the procedures and processs invaded and undermined the rights of the kid to privateness under Article 8 of the European Convention for Human Rights ( ECHR ) . Hoyle. ( 2008 ) . which I will discourse farther in this assignment.

There have been many unfavorable judgments of the appraisal model and Helm ( 2011 ) references that even though the quality of appraisals have improved there is relentless trouble with degrees and quality of analysis and a perennial failure amongst professionals to pay sufficient attending to what kids and immature people may be stating about their ain demands and experiences.

Parton ( 2010 ) high spots that during the period since late 2008 & A ; the tragic decease of Baby P. the focal point has shifted more centrally to child protection where prior to this period the accent was on ‘safeguarding’ . and there has been a renewed official precedence given to societal work to which the developments have been given an added drift with the election of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition authorities in May 2010 which generated the Munro reappraisal into child protection.

I will supply a critical analysis of how relevant statute law and policy impact on measuring the demands of kids and their households and I will discourse ways that inadequate appraisals can take to failures. To successfully implement the appraisal model a procedure has to be followed which requires societal workers to be adept and experient. I will research ways in which the appraisal model is a utile tool in modern-day societal work pattern. placing the significance of hazard and safeguarding with kids and immature people and how we can larn from past errors. In add-on I will discourse some of the quandary that societal workers face with the appraisal procedure in relation to the rights of kids and households.

Legislation and Policy in the Children and Families Assessment Framework

The appraisal model was introduced under subdivision ( 7 ) of the Local Authority Social Services Act in 2000 and implemented in April 2001. ( Millar & A ; Corby. ( 2006 ) . It followed the debut of the Children Act ( 1989 ) which legitimises actions taken by societal workers.

The model builds on the responsibilities of appraisal of demands set out in subdivision ( 17 ) and agenda ( 2 ) parity ( 3 ) of the Children Act 1998. ( Parker & A ; Bradley. p. 18 ) . and physiques on duties under subdivision ( 47 ) of the Children Act which obliges local governments to see doing inquires if concerns have been expressed about a child’s wellbeing or possible ill-treatment. Appraisals under subdivision ( 47 ) affect a shared duty in audience with other professionals. Failure to decently implement Section ( 17 ) agenda ( 2 ) meant that the broader public assistance demands of deprived kids was overlooked so the DOH had to refocus societal work pattern so that kid protection concerns were included in the appraisal model.

Parker ( 2007 ) states that the appraisal model is policy driven and foreground the importance of inter-agency sharing of information and cooperation in working together. while underscoring the rules of person-centred. strengths-based pattern. It is made up of three spheres ( trigon ) that represent the child’s developmental demands. the rearing capacity to react to those demands and household and environmental factors with the child’s public assistance at the Centre ( Department of Health. 2000a ) .

Harmonizing to Parton ( 2010 ) . there was an of import displacement under the New Labour authorities off from services that were framed chiefly in footings of ‘the family’ to 1s that were explicitly ‘child-centred’ . The Every Child Matters ( ECM ) policy model a direct response to the Climbie Report was developed within authorities and championed by the Department for Children. Schools and Families ( DCSF ) in September ( 2003 ) . and underpins the Children Act ( 2004 ) . The ECM joined-up services for kids and households under one roof ; so how can anyone challenge that non every kid affairs? Well. it merely applied in 150 local authorization countries in England and was non scheduled for execution in Scotland. Wales or Northern Ireland. which would take to the premise that every kid affairs in England but non in the United Kingdom.

Besides under the ECM model was a considerable fiscal investing. made in set uping a cosmopolitan kid surveillance database ( Contact Point ) and infinite countries of activity refering kids but were brigaded under the ‘every kid matters’ trade name. The Integrated Children System which built on the appraisal model harmonizing to White et Al. ( 2010 ) disrupted the professional undertaking. breeding a scope of insecure patterns and provoked a assemblage storm of user opposition. ( p. 405 ) .

Parton ( 2011. p. 16 ) notes that the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition authorities made it clear. after its election triumph in May 2010. that it was the decrease in the public finance debt that was its overriding and most pressing political precedence and instantly put about cut downing public outgo. The new authorities established an independent reappraisal of kid protection. chaired by Eileen Munro within three hebdomads of coming into office. ( Parton. 2010. p. 2 ) ; and the new authorities besides began to level cardinal elements of the ECM model ( e. g. Contact Point ) . and about consigned the tremendous ECM web site to the archive! ( Butler & A ; Hickman. 2011 ) . Research tells us that when thresholds are likely to be raised if there are limited resources. fiscal restraints or the force per unit area of increased work loads. this is a manner that administrations can ration responses. by prioritizing instances. ( Turney et al. 2011 ) . executive drumhead notes that. where kids are neglected or abused grounds indicates that the aid they received from services was unequal.

The Munro reappraisal is the latest in a long line of policy enterprises in England set up to turn to the challenges for the province and wider society to the job of kid maltreatment. ( Parton. 1985:2006 ) . The reappraisal argues that a major ground why kid protection policy and pattern has developed in the manner that it has in England arises from negative and critical responses from the media to professionals. in peculiar societal workers. so bettering the public image of societal work is cardinal to bettering child protection. ( Parton. 2012. p. 158 ) . But the reappraisal did non do it clear what it meant by child protection or what it identified as the chief purposes of the kid protection system ( p. 154 )

The Assessment Procedure

Appraisal can be seen as an on-going. uninterrupted and common procedure in which the service user interacts and participates. Darlymple and Burke ( 2006 ) explain that engagement defines an activity where people are non merely listened to or consulted but are besides able to act upon and accomplish alteration. It is a procedure of what has happened and what is go oning now. ( Butler & A ; Hickman. 2011 p. 168 ) . and Smale et Al. ( 1993 ) highlight the thought of ‘exchange’ in appraisal in which a bipartisan communicating takes topographic point. enabling the positions of service users and professionals to be accorded equal regard.

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The appraisal model describes itself as ‘rooted in kid development’ . ( DOH. 2000 ) therefore it is critical that societal workers have a thorough apprehension in kid development as this is critical for work with kids and households. It takes the accomplishment and endowment and apprehension of a societal worker to do sense of the information gathered from different beginnings and get down the procedure with the information in forepart of them. Sometimes the information needs to be collected once more and once more at the cost of the people utilizing the services. particularly if they have already given information to a societal worker antecedently. but the procedure is an ongoing one so in some instances dialogues need to be made with a scope of people.

Each child’s demands should be assessed separately when referred to services. An initial appraisal is completed within 7-10 yearss. The initial appraisal gathers information along the three parametric quantities of appraisal model. which determines what services ( if any ) are needed. The tight clip restraints can at this phase in the appraisal model can act upon the initial determinations about where and how to pull off referrals. Regan ( 2001 ) references that the signifier filling associated with the appraisal model is a time-consuming obstruction to the procedure of prosecuting helpfully with people. ( cited in Millar & A ; Corby. 2006. p. 888 ) .

The nucleus appraisal which is an in-depth procedure incorporating legion inquiries. is merely necessary if it is clear from the initial appraisal that a more elaborate appraisal is required and if there are safeguarding concerns. It uses the full theoretical account of the appraisal ( the child’s needs. the demands within the wider community ) and the ( capacity of the parents ) and should be done within 35 on the job yearss. Current statutory counsel on advancing the wellness and wellbeing of looked after kids ( DCSF. 2009 ) suggests the usage of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire ( SDQ ) as an early phase testing tool for this intent. ( cited in Turney et Al. 2011 ) . In societal work pattern. it is of import to hold on the appraisal program with the kid and it’s household so all parties are cognizant who is traveling to be making ‘what’ and ‘when’ . and how the appraisal will be used to inform overall opinions about the child’s demands and subsequent planning. ( DOH. 2000a ) .

Two surveies conducted by Corby et Al. ( 2002a ) who sought the positions of 34 sets of parents being assessed under the new model. concluded that about all parents were satisfied or had positive positions about the initial appraisals and two-thirds felt in a similar manner about nucleus appraisals. Focus groups who besides took portion in the survey were besides positive about initial appraisals and had mixed positions about the nucleus appraisals. The bulk raised issues about clip restraints and staff resources. The survey doesn’t reference. which local authorization country the survey took topographic point. the ages of the parents or the cultural beginnings as this may hold made a difference to the result.

Anti-oppressive and Anti-discriminatory pattern when carry oning appraisals should take into history people’s differences. for illustration faith. coloring material or race. If appraisals are done right it will be person-centred and will include diverse factors such as the gender. gender or age of a individual. cited in Turney et Al. ( 2011 ) . They besides note unfavorable judgments of the kid development theoretical account and that it doesn’t take into history the child’s disablement and suggest that the appraisal should include tailoring of templets to reflect their strengths. abilities and demands through their chosen method of communicating.

Coulshed and Orme ( 1983 ) discuss drawbacks to the appraisal procedure in that they could be used to command non merely entree to services but besides disadvantaged subdivisions of the community for illustration dossiers kept on alleged ‘problem families’ or those who have assertively sought aid. and Ahmad ( 1990 ) mentions the adjectival ‘aggressive’ which is applied to black clients who assert their demands for just services and that white appraisals fail to take into history black worlds and environments. Preston-Shoot. ( 2003 ) adds that surveies have shown that societal workers have a deficiency of citing to research and theory in their appraisal studies.

The constituents of the appraisal model requires more than merely vision. It requires societal workers to detect behaviors every bit good as gather information which can be non-verbal. for illustration detecting facial looks. looking at fond regards with household members. detecting organic structure linguistic communication etc. The message in societal worker pattern is clear. that when working with kids and their households it is critical to hold a non-judgemental mode. non to do premises when transporting out appraisals and step ining with persons and to maintain an unfastened head. In add-on societal workers should. keep equal and accurate note maintaining records and should guarantee answerability when working in coaction with other administrations.

Hazard and Safeguarding

The treatment of hazard and safeguarding and allotment of resources is a reminder of the power that societal workers hold. The appraisal model ( Department of Health et Al. . 2000 ) . attempted to travel the focal point from the appraisal of hazard of kid maltreatment and ‘significant harm’ ( Department of Health. 2001 ) to one that was concerned with the thought of hazard of damage to a child’s overall development in the context of their household and community environment. ( cited in Parton. 2010 p. 7 ) .

Parton. ( 2010 ) discusses that by the early 1990s the kid protection and kid public assistance systems could be characterised in footings of the demand to place ‘high risk’ instances so that these could be differentiated from the remainder. Harmonizing to Dale et Al. . 1986 ; Parton and Parton. 1989. ‘High-risk’ was conceptualised in footings of ‘dangerousness’ . for it occurred in the little minority of ‘dangerous families’ . and such households were capable to extreme household disfunctions and violent personalities and were seen as the primary cause of kid maltreatment and needed to be identified so kids could be protected. Government guidelines that specifically focused on ‘the protection of kids from abuse’ was reinforced farther in the lone official usher on the intent and content of professional appraisals from the Department of Health. ( 1998 ) usher. Protecting Children: A Guide for Social Workers Undertaking a Comprehensive Assessment. The usher was specifically designed for societal workers in instances where maltreatment was either substantiated or extremely suspected and was concerned with appraisals for ‘long-term planning in kid protection’ instances. ( Parton. 2010. p. 6 )

So how can put on the line be identified? Harmonizing to the ( 2003 ) Green Paper the hazard features of sing negative results is concentrated in kids with certain features. and the more hazard factors a kid had. the more likely it was that they would see negative results for illustration ‘poor parenting’ . ‘crime’ and ‘anti-social & A ; aberrant behaviour’ are seen to playing cardinal functions and it is stated that placing factors and step ining early provided a major scheme for get the better ofing the societal exclusion of kids and avoiding jobs later in life. ( cited in Parton. 2010. p. 10 )

The Department of Health ( Social Care Institute for Excellence. 2005 ) . following the debut of the Children Act ( 1989 ) commissioned a series of research surveies which reported an over-emphasis on issues of maltreatment and disregard at the disbursal of measuring and back uping households. The ( SCIE ) drafted the study ‘Managing hazard and understating errors in services to kids and families’ in 2005. The study based on a pilot survey of organizational attacks to put on the line direction and includes chances for larning from safeguarding incidents. The squads involved in the survey were practicians and service users recruited from England and Wales and fieldwork was conducted in July/August 2004 from both squads. Sing the needs appraisal. the study references that measuring and safeguarding kids from important injury is complex. which means that close girls involves instances where possible important injury to kids was overlooked.

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During the referral and assessment phase the close girls arise due to the prioritisation of instances professional non holding an accurate or full image of what is go oning determinations made by other squads or bureaus

The study concludes that in relation to measuring the demands of kids in peculiar the demand to safeguard them from important injury practicians commentaries showed that near girls were a regular happening and were portion and package of the occupation. The study besides suggested that latent failures are embedded in the system which include a deficiency of sufficient resources to run into the demands of kids and households. ( SCIE. 2005. p. 35 )

The function of societal work pattern in children’s services in England has in relation to child protection seen a dramatic alteration. Since late 2008. Parton ( 2010 ) references that following the Baby P’s tragic decease. policy and pattern have moved in new waies and the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service ( CAFCASS. 2009 ) reported that there were about 50 per cent more attention applications to tribunal in the 2nd half of 2008-09 compared with the first half of that twelvemonth. High-profile and really public unfavorable judgments of societal workers and other wellness and public assistance professionals in instances of kid maltreatment put increasing force per unit area on kid public assistance services in the UK. ( Parton. 1985 ; Butler and Drakeford. ( 2005 ) . More late the sentencing of 9 Asiatic work forces in the ‘Rochdale Grooming’ instance in which critics have highlighted farther ‘protection’ issues amongst professionals.

So with clear messages from research. what is the best manner for professionals to turn to issues of hazard to kids? The study focused chiefly on active failures and it states that good pattern is to larn from past errors and a cardinal means for larning is to tackle the cognition and expertness from service users and to better assessment systems advancing the public assistance of kids and households. ( SCIE. 2005 ) . Social workers besides need to cognize why they are seeking a peculiar piece of information and how to treat it oppugning all the information from beginnings. being intuitive and believing analytically and critically.

Professional issues in relation to rights of kids and households and the assessment procedure.

Jones ( 2001 ) references that societal work appraisal models in general mostly ignore the value of listening and organizing supportive relationships. decreasing the power of service users to show their concerns efficaciously. and adds that societal workers frequently have to equilibrate the demands and rights of the kid with those of the parents. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ( CRC ) sets out the independent rights of the kids. but it besides states that the ‘best involvements of the child’ are normally served by back uping the child’s household. Joseph Rowntree Foundation. ( 2005 ) .

The ( JRF ) . 2005 survey examined the tensenesss inherent in kid and household policy. it’s deductions of human rights statute law for policy development and the extent to which authorities has managed these duties through the development of appropriate policies and constructions for service bringing. The European Convention on Human Rights ( ECHR ) . sets out the parents and kids entitlements. including the right for regard for household life enshrined in Article ( 8 ) .

The ( 2005 ) survey encourages a argument about pull offing the tensenesss between policies in support of kids and those directed at parents and the household and concludes that contradictions and struggles in policy in children’s public assistance eclipses parents’ rights. and there is no consistent overview of how involvements of household members are managed across the coevalss. It besides states that at local degree. Children’s Trusts might be strengthened by altering their name to Children and Family Trusts promoting holistic thought and doing their remit explicit. ‘Although the ECHR has been integrated into domestic jurisprudence through the Human Rights Act. it’s entitlements are non promoted in societal policy and despite subscribing up to the CRC the authorities has non incorporated its articles into UK legislation’ . ( JRF. 2005 )

It is of import as portion of the appraisal procedure and for a good appraisal to maintain the focal point of the kid at the Centre of the appraisal procedure. Although this may be a job with adolescents who are already traveling through alterations and many of whom have estranged relationships with their parents and households. Surveies note that there is sometimes an involuntariness of some societal workers to step in with adolescents and grounds from Serious Case Reviews indicate that self-destruction was a common cause of decease with adolescents aged between the ages of 16 to 17 old ages of age. Social workers need to be cognizant of the dangers and of the impact of non-engagement with adolescents. and bureaus need to hold appropriate schemes and resources in topographic point to turn to their demands ( Brandon et al. . 2008 and 2009 ; Hicks and Stein. 2010 ; Stein. 2007 ) ( cited in Turney et Al. ( 2011 ) .

The Turney et Al. ( 2011 ) research article indicates that there are troubles for many societal workers in doing and prolonging relationships with kids and with stand foring the child’s voice in appraisals and grounds shows that on occasions pattern has fallen short of the criterion required. Helm ( 2011 ) writes that kids and immature people have clearly identified that professionals fail to truly listen. non because of a deficiency of clip. but because they focus on grownups positions and protect themselves from the hard nature of what they are being told. ( p. 908 )

Ferguson. ( 2001 ) mentions the troubles that societal workers and other professionals face in such instances of measuring the demands of kids while at the same clip seeking to prosecute a female parent and male parent who don’t ever want the intercession. and research shows that there is considerable grounds that the nature of parental relationships with professionals affect determinations originating from appraisals. Turney et Al. ( 2011 ) . Appraisals of handicapped kids raises a figure of complexnesss and challenges ; for illustration the kid developmental theoretical account underpinning the appraisal model can be seen by some societal workers as non appropriate for handicapped kids ( Cleaver et al. . 2004 ; Mitchell and Sloper. 2008 ) .

Children need back up at assorted phases of the appraisal procedure so as to be able to exert their ain rights. ( Butler & A ; Williamson 1994. Darlymple & A ; Hough 1995 ) . The child’s positions whether expressed verbally or nonverbally and those of relevant people in the child’s life to the appraisal is normally sought to acquire thoughts about the best manner of assisting the kid. ( Coulshed and Orme. p. 26 ) . The appraisals of parents relies on verbal communicating. but if the parent has larning disablements or there are linguistic communication barriers communicating could be misinterpreted.

A qualitative survey carried out by Walker ( 1999 a. B ) in which 15 kids aged between 12 and 15 were interviewed for the intent of sing children’s experiences of review meetings. Many of the kids viewed appraisal as formal and bureaucratic. which they said took topographic point on the adults’ footings. and many wanted to acquire off from the meetings every bit shortly as possible. One kid described experiencing as an foreigner. when grownups opened their journals and planned the following meeting without audience with the kid. Some kids felt the linguistic communication used was hard. and the purpose of meetings was to speak about them and non with them.


The Assessment Framework is underpinned by kid development and an ecological model developed in response to findings from a programme of research on kid protection. It provides a systematic manner for societal workers to garner and analyze information and recordings of what is go oning to kids and immature people within their households and the wider community in which they live.

Legislation and policy legitimises what actions societal workers can take when undertaking appraisals. There was an of import displacement under the New Labour Government in appraisal with the ‘Every Child Matters’ policy model which was a direct response to the Climbie Report & amp ; the decease of Victoria Climbie. The ECM model joined-up children’s services under one roof. but it was merely implemented in England. it was a considerable fiscal investing and established a kid surveillance database and infinite countries of activity were brigaded under the ‘every kid matters’ trade name.

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Within 3 hebdomads of coming into office in May 2010. the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition government’s most pressing political precedence was cut downing the public finance debt. The authorities established an independent reappraisal of kid protection chaired by Eileen Munro. which is the latest in a long line of policy enterprises in England. The new authorities dismantled the cardinal elements of the ECM model about consigning the tremendous ECM web site to the archives.

The Assessment Framework as a procedure appears to hold been welcomed by professionals and service users. but there have been unfavorable judgments. Messages from research tell us that the issues raised from professionals sing the appraisal procedure were the clip restraints and staff resources and normally when there are limited resources. thresholds are likely to be raised and administrations tend to ration responses to their services by prioritizing instances. and Turney et Al ( 2011 ) note that in instances where kids are neglected or abused grounds shows that the aid they received from services was unequal.

Discoursing Hazard and Safeguarding harmonizing to Parton ( 2010 ) ‘high risk’ in the early 1990’s was conceptualised in footings of ‘dangerousness’ and occurred in a little minority of unsafe households. But the 2003 Green Paper looks at certain features associated with hazard such as ‘poor parenting’ or ‘anti-social behaviour’ ( aberrance ) as playing a cardinal function in negative results associated to ‘risk’ . The Social Care Institute for Excellence 2005 survey found that during the referral and assessment phases near girls occurred due to prioritisation over instances and professionals non holding an accurate or full image of what is go oning in a child’s life and that close girls were portion and package of the occupation.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child notes ‘the best involvements of the child’ are normally served by back uping the kid and their household and although the European Convention on Human Rights sets out the parents and kids entitlements in Article 8. harmonizing to a survey conducted by the ( 2005 ) Joseph Rowntree Foundation study the entitlements are non promoted to societal policy and despite subscribing up to the CRC the authorities has non incorporated its articles into UK statute law.

For good appraisals it is of import that societal workers maintain the focal point on the kids and immature people and utilize intuitive accomplishments even though there are troubles in societal work pattern in doing and prolonging relationships.


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