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Assessment of Children and their Families

An assessment helps Social Services and families to look together at the current situation and what might need to happen next.

When we decide to do an assessment it is usually because we think you or your child might need support from us.  What you or somebody else has already told us helps us make this decision and the assessment enables us to find out more.

An assessment helps everyone involved to understand:

  • How your child is doing in terms of education, health, getting on with other people, and so on
  • What is working well for your family, including what support the parent(s) and other family members are able to give the child(ren)
  • What your family, or other people, are worried about
  • What other things may be having an effect on the way your child is being brought up and cared for

A social worker will usually visit and talk to you, your child, members of the family, and perhaps to other people who have been involved such as a teacher or family doctor. 

The assessment should enable us to see what help and support might be needed and explore who could best give that help. 


"Right from the start my social worker told me what the worries were and what could happen.  It was hard at the start, but looking back I can see that every decision she made was to make sure my child was safe and looked after.  She wasn't judgemental but she helped me see things more clearly and then helped me to get where I needed to be, one step at a time."


Our aim is to work with families to support them to be the best they can be.  We will explain what we are worried about and why.  We do what we can to support families to stay together whenever this is best for the child.  Making sure the child is safe will be our first priority.

In a very small number of cases, there are serious concerns about a child's safety. In such cases we will need to carry out child protection enquiries. If this happens we will give more information to parents, children and others involved to help everyone understand what is happening.

You can download/print  the leaflet  PDF Document Putting Children First: A Parent's Guide to the assessment of Children in Need and their Families (PDF, 483KB)Opens new window which  has more information about the assessment process.

There is also a leaflet for children PDF Document Why is a Social Worker here? (PDF, 804KB)Opens new window which explains what is happening.

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