Parenting & Risk Assessments | Mark Hatter Associates

Parenting & Risk Assessments

We are able to undertake parenting assessments in situations when parents are seeking to resume or maintain the care of their child or children. We have particular expertise in undertaking parenting assessments in situations where there are significant child protection concerns including children being exposed to chaotic drug misuse, alcohol misuse and domestic abuse.

Process of Assessment: Every family is unique and as a consequence each assessment is tailored to the needs of the particular case, but is likely to involve the following process. 

Individual Interviews with Parents/Carers: Each parent/carer will be seen individually by a Social Worker who will take a comprehensive history from the parent/carer that focuses on personal and family history together with parenting issues in relation to the concerns expressed by the professionals involved in the case. 

Parents/carers can also be seen by a Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist or Psychotherapist who will during the assessment consider the parents/carers therapeutic needs and the timescales for change to occur. 

Observations of Contact: each parent/carer is seen with their child/ren, usually by a Social Worker and/or Family Assessment Worker. These observations focus on interactions between family members, highlighting attachment issues, parenting ability, and potential for change. Where a Court has agreed an assessment we will require a direction that we have leave to see the children.

Individual Interviews with Children: Where appropriate, children will be interviewed by a social worker. These meetings focus on the developmental and emotional needs of the child, and will assess any harm the child may have suffered. 

In addition to the above, we can offer structured tests such as the following:

  • Narrative story stems

  • Child Attachment Interview

  • Parent Development Interview

  • Family Attachment Interview
     

The timescale for each assessment is around 6 - 8 weeks. However, assessments of parents who have learning difficulties may take slightly longer, particularly when a parent requires an advocate to be present during the assessment process. We have social worker who are trained in the use of the Parenting Assessment Manual.