Improving Child and Family Assessments
Release Date:01 Oct 2011
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Improving Child and Family Assessments

Turning Research into Practice

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

The quality of the assessment of children in need has a significant impact on outcomes for the children concerned. Good assessment contributes to better outcomes, but poor assessment can have tragic consequences. Understanding what makes a good assessment is vital.

This book brings together findings from 10 years of UK research that shed light on different aspects of child and family assessment, and examines the evidence for what works in promoting the best outcomes for children. It covers thresholds for assessment and intervention, what information should be collected in assessments, and assessments in different contexts. It also examines key aspects of practice and the factors that can help or hinder good quality assessment. These areas include analysis, critical thinking and reflection; engaging with children and families; and inter-professional working. Structural, procedural and organisational factors are also considered.

In summarising the research, this important book provides key messages on the links between assessment and outcomes for children, and offers implications for policy and practice. It will be essential reading for social work practitioners, academics, students and researchers, and all those in the child protection field.

This book is an essential companion for any social worker wishing to enhance their assessment skills and confidence in managing the assessment process effectively, whilst taking into account the interacting risks to consider. The book is well written and certainly provides opportunities for practitioners to reflect and analyse their assessment and decision making skills in an era of resource shortage and high thresholds. A recommended read. – Professional Social Work
The authors are all members of the School for Policy Studies at the University of Bristol, UK. Danielle Turney is Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Director of the Post-Qualifying Specialist Award in Social Work with Children and Young People. Dendy Platt is Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Programme Director for the MSc in Social Work. Julie Selwyn is a Reader and Director of the Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies. Elaine Farmer is Professor of Child and Family Studies.
Acknowledgements. 1. Introduction. 2. Thresholds for Recognition, Assessment and Intervention. 3. The Content of Assessments: What Information is Collected? 4. Assessments in Particular Contexts. 5. Analysis, Critical Thinking and Reflection in Assessments. 6. Engaging with Children, Young People and their Parents. 7. Inter-Professional Working. 8. Structural, Procedural and Organisational Factors. 9. Assessment and Child Outcomes. 10. Conclusions. Appendix A. Method. Appendix B. List of Empirical Studies Used in this Review. References. Index.
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