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Our service includes

  • Assessments of families, children, kinship carers and contact
  • Assessments of children being removed from the jurisdiction
  • Reviews and complaint investigations of Foster Carers
  • Direct work with children and families
  • Practice Development and Training
  • Complex Case Consultation


Referral Process

When a referral is accepted, for an independent assessment, a Network Meeting is usually held to discuss the scope of the assessment. If the court has directed the work, the Letter of Instruction follows. Alternatively the work can be requested by specific questions and areas of work being outlined in writing. Services for Children accept referrals of work from Local Authorities or Independent Providers in areas such as the mentoring of Social Workers, Reviews of Foster Carers, Complaints Investigation and for other aspects of Social Work consultancy. The scope and terms of the work are discussed and agreed at the point of referral including cost and other contractual terms.

Models of Work for Independent Assessments

The model of work, developed by Services for Children, starts with a Network Meeting. The meeting is an opportunity for Services for Children to meet all the parties, hear their positions and develop a Letter of Instruction. This can be a professionals meeting if the referral is solely from the Local Authority. The assessment of parents usually sees a short period of evaluation to develop recommendations as to whether the parents have the capacity to make the required changes in the child’s timescale.

An initial view is usually available in the first 4-6 weeks. Following this, there is a more intensive assessment phase, that can see a substantial increase in contact. This phase has a learning element, to allow the parents to demonstrate their capacity and develop their ability as parents. The whole programme takes in the region of 10-12 weeks, including report writing.

The assessment of relatives follows a similar model to that of parents but can be achieved in a timescale of 6-8weeks. This model would not tend to have the learning element to it. If there is a specific model that referrers require Services for Children can adapt its practice accordingly.


Style of Report

1. An assessment
2. Answers to instructions
3. A record of the sessions completed