By Judith Milner, Patrick O’Byrne (auth.), Jo Campling (eds.)
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A preoccupation with individual casework has inhibited the development of 'social' assessments. 'Borrowed' knowledge from psychiatry and psychology has been the major influence on social work assessments. Assessments have tended to locate the problems of family dysfunction not only in individuals, but also in individual mothers. New legislation defines assessment as an activity separate from intervention. Assessment activity is defined differently in each new piece of legislation. Differing emphases on risk, needs and resources make it difficult for social workers to develop an overarching framework for all their assessments.
For example, in assessing a situation in which a seriously abused and neglected child has been thriving well with foster parents for 4 years, but the birth mother wants the child, now 10 years old, to return to her, and the child wants to live with her and her abusive partner, it could be a question of how to: • • • • • collect evidence to oppose the application; assess what support the birth mother would need to be able adequately and safely to mother the child; find ways of making the birth mother 's home safe; use the law to remove the dangerous partner; find ways of maintaining residence with the foster parents and a relationship with the birth mother.
5 Utilising the analysis • What help is needed by the user? By others? • List the outcomes one hopes to achieve and the consequences one hopes to avoid. • Clearly explain how these outcomes can be measured . • Prepare an intervention plan. • Establish an independent mechanism to monitor outcomes. This could include supervision, multiagency group or service users. • Prepare a draft report that lists sources of information, analysis and initial judgment (see Chapter 11, which will also address risk).
Assessment in Social Work by Judith Milner, Patrick O’Byrne (auth.), Jo Campling (eds.)
Categories: Social Work