Assessing Children's Needs and Circumstances: The Impact of the Assessment Framework

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Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Mar 1, 2004 - Family & Relationships - 336 pages
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Drawing on in-depth interviews with social workers and their managers, and families and young people themselves, the authors of this important book show how the principles embodied in the Assessment Framework have been applied to social work practice. Revisiting the principles outlined in the legislative context and the Assessment Framework, they show how the focus on assessment has affected the work with children, and the experiences of children and families themselves. The authors identify a range of issues that influence the implementation of the Assessment Framework, including the key areas where support and training are needed. They review social workers' and other professionals' appraisal of how the Assessment Framework affects individual practice and inter-agency collaboration, as well as exploring how satisfied young people and their parents are with the assessments they are involved in. Finally, they examine the cost to social services of undertaking a core assessment. Emphasising the importance of a joined-up child care service, the authors' findings have been taken into account in the development of the Integrated Children's System. This book should be read by all those professionals who are working to promote the welfare and well-being of children.

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1 Introducing the Study
2 Implementation
3 Involving Families in the Assessment Process
4 The Experiences of Social Service Managers and Practitioners
5 Interagency and Interprofessional Collaboration in Assessments of Children in Need
Findings from the Audit
9 The Cost of Undertaking Core Assessments
10 Conclusions and Implications for Policy and Practice
Appendix I Aims andMethods
Appendix II Tables
Appenix III Timesheet for social workers to record time spent in undertaking a core assessment

Findings from the Audit
Findings from the Audit

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Page 27 - And it ought to be remembered ' that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.
Page 13 - a child shall be taken to be in need if — (a) he is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or to have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision for him of services by a local authority under this Part; (b) his health or development is likely to be significantly impaired, or further impaired, without the provision for him of such services; or (c) he is disabled'.
Page 11 - Act 1989, are those whose vulnerability is such that they are unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development, or their health and development will be significantly impaired, without the provision of services...
Page 17 - A framework has been developed which provides a systematic way of analysing, understanding and recording what is happening to children and young people within their families and the wider context of the community in which they live.
Page 12 - Their parenting capacity may be limited temporarily or permanently by poverty, racism, poor housing or unemployment or by personal or marital problems, sensory or physical disability, mental illness or part life experiences. Lack of parenting skills or inability to provide adequate care should not be equated with lack of affection or irresponsibility (DH, 1990, p.
Page 20 - Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (Department of Health.
Page 17 - Guidance was issued under Section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970, which requires local authorities in their social services functions to act under the general guidance of the Secretary of State. As such it does not have the full force of statute, but should be complied with unless local circumstances indicate exceptional reasons which justify a variation.

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About the author (2004)

Hedy Cleaver is a Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of Health and Social Care at Royal Holloway, University London. She is both a qualified social worker and psychologist, and worked as a practitioner before embarking on a career in social work research. Steve Walker has over twenty years' experience as a practitioner, manager and trainer in children and family social work. He is currently a Research Fellow at Royal Holloway College, University of London. Pamela Meadows is an economist with strong social policy interests and both academic and policy evaluation experience.

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