Through our Community Based Assessment, we aim to:
· Promote positive change, enhancing timely decision making and better outcomes for children.
· Reduce the length of time a child has a Child Protection Action Plan.
· Reduce the number of children needing to be accommodated because of poor parenting and/or suffering significant harm.
· Reduce the level of stress within a family by maximising their own resources and support the parents in providing a secure care-giving environment.
· Work with families to overcome relationship and parents difficulties that have reached a level where children are suffering harm.
· Provide a range of advice and direct support that will vary according to the individual needs of the families.
What is a Community Based Assessment?
The Community Based Assessment model is a robust alternative to residential provision. It maximises parental/child contact within a multi-agency, modular approach to assessing parenting capacity, ideally within the family’s local community.
Where a parent has problematic drugs and alcohol behaviour. A drugs and alcohol worker would use a risk screening tool, take samples and assist with strategies to prevent relapse within the assessment environment.
Where there is domestic abuse. The New Way Service will assess the nature of the abuse, its antecedents, and strategies to avoid violent and abusive behaviour within the home.
Adult mental health services will assist with an assessment of how the parent’s illness impacts on their behaviour.
The Community Adult Learning Disability Team will assist parents who have an IQ below 70 and who require additional support.
Adult Care Team will assist with support where the parent has a physical disability.
The Senior Practitioner – Intensive Parenting Assessment will provide an in-depth parenting assessment.
The Contact Officer will have a safeguarding role to protect the child during the supervised contact and take notes regarding interaction between the parent and child.
We have established a parent/s and child foster placement (within Bath & North East Somerset), designed to take the child and parent/s. The foster carers will be involved in the assessment and will report on day to day routines and behaviour.
Where there is a safeguarding need to separate parent and child, this model offers a significant element of contact combined with a thorough assessment.
It is intended that the assessment will take place either in the family home or if not, in a designed environment that can, as far as possible, replicate a family home. This will require the parent to undertake common tasks – meal planning, tidying up, washing, playing, and communicating with the child and with adults who are in the room.
While a significant part of the day will be designed to actively engage the parent in assessment, this will also take the form of passive observation to test out the parent’s skills and commitment.
The significance of attachment between parent and child must not be underestimated; the senior practitioner will address issues of attachment and incorporate this into the assessment report.
There will also be an element of teaching and learning to equip the parent to improve their parenting capacity and increase their chances of being reunited, or for their child to remain in the care of their birth parent. The parent will also have the opportunity to understand the concept of attachment and how they can improve their relationship with their child.
If you require any further information please contact Leigh Zywek on 01225 477979