NYSCP Assessment Standards - North Yorkshire

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Assessment Standards

Assessment Standards

Assessments are undertaken by Children’s Social Care to identify the needs of individual children to determine what services to provide and action to take.

1Assessments will follow the Children and Families Procedures  The assessment process must begin immediately with a focus on:

– Information gathering, including what are we worried about and what’s working well
– The assessment will include and consider the family history
– Family tree/genogram/network
– Analysis – danger statement and safety goals – or signs of something, critical worries, success goal
– Judgement – of risk and existing safety
– Actions and behaviours moving forwards/desired outcomes with clear timescales, trajectory timeline and plan.
– While the assessment timescale is up to 45 days it not expected to take that significant length of time. We need to work in a timely manner that recognises the impact on the family.
– There will be a clear rationale on the case file by the manager as to what information/work needs to be done to complete the assessment and a clear deadline.
– The manager will review the case by day 10. There will be a clear decision as to whether a multi-agency meeting to discuss the child and family plan is required. If this is needed the meeting will be held by day 20.
– Assessments will be authorised by the relevant Children’s Social Care Manager or Practice Supervisor.
– The Team Manager will record any reasons for delays to assessment and/or key decision-making and the family will be advised in writing.
2A qualified Social Worker will take lead responsibility for the completion of an assessmentA qualified Social Worker will coordinate the completion of an assessment and will incorporate work undertaken by other professionals, such as a Student Social Worker or Children and Families Worker.
3Each assessment will be discussed with the family, with a realistic work plan and within time scalesParents, carers, children and young people will receive written information before the assessment informing them about:

– The Assessment process including the One Minute Guide to assessments.
– The process for making a complaint, commendation or comment
– Their Social Care Records, and
– Expectation to ask about the family & network from the first visit and to be included from the first visit
– Consent to gather and share information with other agencies.
– Once consent obtained (where required) information to be gathered from appropriate agencies prior to the 10 day review, wherever possible.  

With agreement from the family, a Family Network Meeting will be held as soon as possible to support the family and in order for a plan to be made in respect of the assessment.
4Children and families communication needs will be addressedWe will ask and discuss with families how they would wish to communicate including the preferred language of the family:

– Leaflets and reports will be translated as appropriate
– Translators will be used, not friends or family members
– Use of advocates to enable communication, i.e. disabled children/parent
– Use of other communication tools for those with reading or writing difficulties.  
5Children and young people will participate in their assessment All children will be seen in their home situation, seen alone and the purpose of the assessment explained to themSocial Workers will observe and use a wide range of tools to understand the child’s lived experiences and their wishes and feelings. This will include working with the child or young person and where appropriate, seeing the child on their own encouraging use of Mind of my Own to express their views

Children’s views will be recorded clearly in each assessment.

Children will be focused upon as individuals as well as in their identified family position.

Use of advocates can be offered by the family, this may well be a friend, family member, naturally connect community member, or from a professional advocacy provision.
6Parents will participate in the child’s AssessmentParents/Carers’ views will be recorded using their words

Use of advocates can be offered by the family, this may well be a friend, family member, naturally connect community member, or from a professional advocacy provision.

Family networks will be explored and encouraged from the start of social care involvement to help develop understanding and capture the views of the family and to support.

A family tree with culture/ genogram/network map will be completed as soon as possible as part of the assessment, but always by day 10.
7Information gathered will be relevant, proportionate and factualAssessments will be undertaken for all children referred to Children’s Social Care for a service

Assessments will be authorised by the relevant Children’s Social Care Manager

Consent, where required, will be sought at the outset to gather information from other relevant agencies and this will be included within the assessment.

Information from agencies will be gathered in a timely way and be specific in relation to the child and their family.

A multi-agency meeting regarding the child and family plan will be held by day 20.
8Analysis of information will be structured and judgments will be informed by a professional knowledge baseThe Children and Families assessment process uses the ‘Signs of Safety’ format to analyse the information gathered during the assessment process.

The information will be written using the assessment tool including, family network, genogram, family tree with culture, What’s Working Well, What are We Worried About, Harm, Danger Statements, Safety Goals and Scaling Questions.

Conclusions will be drawn from the summaries as defined above with clear Bottom Lines in respect of matters that cannot be compromised on in relation to the safety of the child.

Decisions and recommendations will be informed by a professional knowledge base and referenced.

Safety plans should always be created together with the parents, carers, child and key members of the support network.

There will be a clear Trajectory & Timeline of what needs to be achieved and when.
9Feedback will be given to those involved in the processFamilies will be involved in creating the family led, agency involved plan and therefore their input into the assessment needs to be clear.

Parents/Carers and the child/young person will receive feedback verbally and also in writing including a copy of the assessment.

The comments of parent(s) and the child/young person will be recorded.

Mind of My Own will be offered as well as the parental feedback questionnaire

Agencies and individuals involved in the Assessment will receive the summary information about the Plan, if one is made. Trajectory and Timelines will be aspirational and illustrated to closure of the service involvement.
10Recommendations from Assessment will be outcome focusedStrengths and risks identified.

Define what needs to happen to achieve desired outcomes, by when and whom.

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