Assessments of quality of contact

This assessment aims to assess quality of contact between children and their significant adults. These assessments are child focussed and are provided for children who are usually not living with their families. This is an assessment of the impact of contact arrangements on the child’s social, emotional and psychological development and the relationship between parent and child/ children. These assessments can inform decisions about changes to contact arrangements and aim to promote positive outcomes for children. These assessment usually takes place over 4 sessions (approx 12 hours).

Community Based Assessments

Apart from residential assessments, community based assessments are usually conducted in community at family home. Our professionals are very experienced at conducting community based assessments on behalf of our clients. In order to meet the needs of our clients we are also able to provide a combination of different assessment packages.

The purpose of our assessments is to ensure that full and accurate information is available to inform important decisions around the future care needs and plan for the benefit of the child.

Where applicable each assessment will include the following dimensions:

  • Needs of the Child/ren
  • Parent and Child relationship
  • Parent’s ability to meet the children needs
  • Risk assessment of parenting
  • Assessment of the parents’ ability to address risk issues and sustain safe parenting practice
Parenting Capacity Assessments

Parenting capacity assessments measure the child’s capacity to be rehabilitated and the parent’s capacity to adequately meet their child’s needs. These assessments are individually designed and tailored to each family and involve other relevant agencies. Each assessment examines specific areas of focus, agreed at the time of referral, that are relevant to rehabilitation/permanency.

Each area of focus will consider:

  • the parent’s relationship to the role of parenting,
  • the parent’s relationship to the child,
  • family influences,
  • the parent’s interaction with the external world,
  • the potential for change.

It can also include a specialised assessment of:

  • adult and child attachments,
  • relationship dynamics,
  • impact of specific issues such as impact of drug and alcohol use, mental health and learning difficulties,
  • impact of trauma and abuse on the child.

This assessment usually takes place over 8-10 sessions (approx 35 hours) and a structured programme is provided in advance.

Special Guardianship / Kinship care assessments

These are in-depth and comprehensive assessments similar to a full parenting capacity assessment, but applied to relatives or kinship carers. These assessments may be particularly helpful if a relative / kinship carer wishes to offer a long term home for a child and applies for a Special Guardianship order. These can also be useful where there have been concerns about a child with informal kinship carers. The child’s present and future needs are examined as an integral part of the assessment

SGO, Fostering And Adoption Assessments

We conduct Fostering, Special Guardianship Order (SGO) and adoption assessments for a number of clients. We have worked in partnership with a number of local authorities and fostering agencies in this regard. Over the years we have developed systems, policies and procedures to ensure a consistent quality of service. Our extensive experience of working in partnership with our clients has helped us to devise such assessment strategies that suit the individual needs of every client. While developing any assessment strategy we specifically focus on producing best results within the minimum amount of time. Our sophisticated and targeted planning helps to significantly reduce the costs of our clients and thereby achieves better client satisfaction.

Assessments of Attachments and Relationships

This can be undertaken as a stand-alone assessment for adults and or children and can also be identified as an area for focus to be undertaken as part of a full Parenting Capacity or Kinship Care Assessment. It includes a formal assessment of attachment and includes an Adult / Child Attachment Style Interview. If the child is under 5 years of age, then other standardised measures of attachment will be used.

The Adult Attachment Style Interview assesses a person’s ability to access and utilise social support and the quality of close relationships. This assessment can also include the assessment of child and adult relationships and the dynamics of these relationships.

These assessments can be undertaken with children who have:

  • Experienced trauma in their life
  • Experienced or witnessed domestic abuse
  • Have been physically, emotionally or sexually abused
  • Have attachment difficulties
Viability Assessments

There are occasions when courts require an initial view of the suitability or appropriateness of a parent or extended family member to care for a child/children.

We are able to complete these assessments promptly and if necessary, undertake a further, more comprehensive assessment.
These assessments are shorter in length 4-6weeks and used to consider the appropriateness of offering a full assessment, whether this is residential or in the community. The foundation of the assessment model is the ‘Framework for Assessment’ but the emphasis is about predicting whether the parents have the potential to change and if so will this be within their children’s timescales.

Parent Risk Assessments

Our professionals provide high quality risk assessments of parents on behalf of Courts, Local Authorities, Solicitors and Individual Agencies. Their detailed assessments enable the referring authorities to identify the issues with regards to the individuals and families in question and then take appropriate decisions. Our assessments are always balanced and our research is always evidence based. Our assessments also contain realistic and achievable recommendations focusing on the welfare of the children and their families.

Our services may be useful in the circumstances:

  • In cases when there is suspicion of child abuse
  • In cases when the parents have complex histories
  • In cases when there is a suspicion of drug misuse
  • In cases when there is suspicion of Forced Marriages
  • In cases when there is suspicion of Female Genital Mutilation
  • In cases where there is a danger of Honour based violence
  • In cases when domestic violence is suspected
  • In International SGO assessments & enquiries
International Assessments

We have professionals belonging to different cultural and lingual backgrounds. This allows us to provide assessment services for families belonging to a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. It enhances the quality of our reports as the assessment is done without the help of the Interpreters / translators. Apart from that our professionals have been deputed to provide services on behalf of our clients in a number of countries outside UK. As a result they have rendered excellent assessment services in various countries in the Africa, Asia, Europe and Middle East.

Family Assessments and Support Intervention

There are many situations when an initial assessment has indicated a need for further testing of the potential for Re-Unification of children with their birth families. AA Agency has a team of highly experienced family assessment and support workers who undertake this role.

This type of work can involve intensive intervention over a short period of time. The work is regularly reviewed with analytical evidence based reports produced at required intervals. This type of intervention is planned using clearly written bespoke programmes with detailed cost estimates.