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									                               Initial Assessment
                      LONDON BOROUGH OF CROYDON

Client ID                             123456

Case ID                               123456

Child/Young Person Name               Benjamin Allen Smith

Date of Birth                         26.10.2006

Current Address                       123 Virginia Avenue
                                      South Norwood
                                      SE25 6LT

Home Address                          Same as Above

Assessment Start Date                 01.01.12

    The information in this report was based on the information available on 11.01.12.
An initial assessment is defined as a brief assessment of each child referred to social services with a request for
services to be provided.
This should be undertaken within a maximum of 7 working days from the date of referral but could be very brief
depending on the child’s circumstances. In completing this initial assessment, if it is known that a core assessment
will be required, social work staff should make a professional judgement about whether it is necessary to complete all
sections before beginning a Core Assessment. The Initial Assessment Record continues the process of systematic
information gathering commenced in the Referral and Information Record. An initial assessment is deemed to have
commenced at the point of referral to social services or when new information on an open case indicates an initial
assessment should be repeated.


Family Name                   Smith                Given Name                     Benjamin

Date of Birth                 26.10.2006 Gender                                   Male

Client ID                     123456               Case ID                        123456

Current Address                                    Main Contact

123 Virginia Avenue                                                                 0208 726 6165
South Norwood
SE25 6LT

DATE REFERRAL RECEIVED _31.12.11___                                DATE INITIAL __01.01.12___
                                                                   ASSESSMENT COMMENCED

The Initial Assessment Record provides a summary of the work undertaken by social services in collaboration with
other agencies. As part of an initial assessment, the child should be seen. This includes observation and
communicating with the child in an age appropriate manner.

Anonymous referral received from member of the public expressing concern
for Benjamin after seeing him being shouted at by his mother. According to
referral, Benjamin’s mother appeared intoxicated as her speech seemed
slurred and she was somewhat unsteady on her feet.

Initial assessment required.

Jane Says, Team Leader, 02.01.12

Agencies should be consulted and involved as appropriate as part of the initial assessment. Parental permission to
contact other agencies should be obtained unless permission seeking may itself place a child at risk of significant
harm. It should be ascertained whether other professionals agree with the information provided being shared with
the child and / or family.

Date          Name(s) of Family Member(s)                       Child Seen                    Child Seen Alone
              Interviewed                                       During Interview

03.01.12 Benjamin Smith, Jill Smith                                  Yes                                 Yes
        Jack Smith


Name                            Role                     Parental Consent                        Date Consent
                                                         Obtained                                Given/Witheld

Ms Maggie May                  Main Assessor                  Yes                                    03.01.12

Ms Laura Hunt                 Head Teacher                     Yes                                    03.01.12

Dr Aldinger                   Norwood Surgery                 Yes                                   03.01.12

All children and young people develop over time. Parents have a responsibility to respond appropriately to the
child/young person’s needs. The purpose of this section is to identify areas of strength and areas of developmental
need, in order for resources to be allocated appropriately to ensure the optimum development of this particular
child/young person. You may consider using HOME Inventory and relevant Questionnaires and Scales (Department
of Health et al, 2000) during the initial assessment. The parent’s capacity to respond should be considered in
relation to basic care, ensuring safety, emotional warmth, stimulation, guidance, and stability. For further information,
consult the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (2000) pp. 19-23. if the
child/young person of other children in the household have been the subject of child protection concerns, please
record the implications for the child/young person/s current circumstances.


What are the child’s developmental needs?

Benjamin is registered at Norwood Surgery with Dr Aldinger. According to the
GP, Benjamin was seen six months ago to have his immunisations updated.
Two months ago, Benjamin was seen for flu-like symptoms. The Red Book
was viewed on the visit and confirms his immunisations are now up to date.

Benjamin suffers from asthma and uses an inhaler when necessary.

Benjamin told the social worker he feels like a strong and healthy boy and
drinks lots of milk so he can be strong like his Daddy. When probed,
Benjamin said his Daddy tells him he needs to drink lots of milk and eat all his
fruit and vegetables so he will be a strong boy.


What are the child’s developmental needs?
Benjamin is currently in reception at Norwood Primary School and attended
their nursery prior to this. According to Mr Hunt, Benjamin experienced some
difficulty with his Speech and Language in Nursery but his parents took him to
a specialist and worked with Benjamin, resulting in no further concerns at this
stage. Mr Smith gave the example of using bath time, where they use sponge
letters to spell words and learn sounds for letters.

Benjamin is achieving well for his age group, is able to take direction from
staff but the school have some concern regarding Benjamin’s concentration.
While his attendance was at 72% last term, it has significantly improved to
94.5% this term. Ms Hunt has noticed Benjamin’s father tends to bring and
collect Benjamin from school.

Benjamin told the social worker he likes Art and hearing stories in school. He
also shared he really likes his teacher, Miss Harley, because she is nice and
gives him gold stars for helping his classmates.


What are the child’s developmental needs?

Mr Smith described Benjamin as a gentle and sensitive yet curious little boy
who is well behaved. Mr Smith also commented Benjamin’s silly nature at
home and his sense of humour. Mr Smith says Benjamin seldom needs
discipline but when these times occur, Benjamin has timeout on the top stair
for 5 minutes. Mrs Smith said Benjamin is good most of the time.

Ms Hunt said Benjamin will sometimes become tearful when other children
don’t want to play with him in the playground but Miss Harley is aware of this
and will have some 1:1 time with him. He is mainly kind to staff and his peers
and follows direction well.

Benjamin told the social worker he worries about Mrs Smith because she
seems sad and sleeps a lot lately.


What are the child’s developmental needs?

Benjamin is the only child to Mr and Mrs Smith. While Mr Smith is White
British, Mrs Smith is originally from Jamaica. When the social worker asked
Benjamin about Jamaica, he pointed to pictures on the wall of the lounge and
said it’s warm there and his Nanny lives there.
The family are practising Christians and attend Norwood Church of England.
Benjamin also attends Sunday School where Mr Smith teaches.


What are the child’s developmental needs?
According to Ms Hunt, Benjamin has developed more positive relationships
with his peers in recent months. This seems to have improved is confidence
at school, where he seems much happier.

The social worker observed a positive attachment between Mr Smith and
Benjamin, as evidenced by Benjamin giving Mr Smith cuddles and giggling
with him during the visit. Benjamin went to Mrs Smith for a cuddle and she
gave him a one armed cuddle with no eye contact. Following this, Benjamin
seemed a bit sad and returned to his father’s side for affection, whereby Mr
Smith patted the top of Benjamin’s head and ruffled his hair.

When the social worker commented on Mrs Smith’s behaviour, she said she
is still angry at Benjamin for waking her up that morning because she went to
bed late the night before.

What are the child’s developmental needs?

Benjamin presents as a gentle and polite little boy. Benjamin takes great
pride in his room, which he reported Mr Smith painted blue before Christmas.
He showed the social worker his books and Wii games, which were all age

Benjamin was clean and tidy during the visit and the school reported they
have no concerns for Benjamin’s special presentation, though noted last term
he came to school looking sad and a bit unkempt with a dirty shirt. This has

What are the child’s developmental needs?

Benjamin is of an age where many of his basic needs must still be met by his
parents / primary carers. Benjamin’s parents have given him small tasks at
home to build his confidence such as cleaning his room on Saturdays and
pulling up his duvet in the morning. Benjamin has started bathing on his own
but Mr or Mrs Smith tend to sit beside the tub to ensure he doesn’t slip in the

Please record relevant historical information as well as that relating to the current situation. It is important to record
details of any adults who are considered to or are likely to be posing a risk of significant harm to the child/young
Ability of the Parents/Carers to meet the child’s needs

This assessment resulted from a member of the public referring after alleging
Mrs Smith shouted at Benjamin and presented with slurred speech and was
unsteady on her feet. When the social worker asked Mrs Smith about this,
she initially denied the incident but later confirmed this occurred after Mr
Smith said she was not being truthful. Mrs Smith became tearful and said she
feels overwhelmed after losing her job. When the social worker asked how
often this happens, Mrs Smith said it has become a lot worse and she feels
quite anxious when she leaves the home and has struggled with sleeping

Mr Smith also told the social worker that Mrs Smith has recently been self
medicating with alcohol and this is why he has stopped working to look after
Mrs Smith and also ensure Benjamin is safe and gets to school on time. Mr
Smith further reported he was unaware Benjamin’s attendance dropped last
term until he collected Benjamin from school during a day off and soon
thereafter stopped working.

Mrs Smith was able to acknowledge she needs some additional support with
her anxiety but denied being under the influence of alcohol when she was at
the local shop as the referral states. Mr Smith said he cannot recall that day
but can state he now sees himself as the primary carer for Benjamin and will
take Mrs Smith to get help for her alcohol use.

Please record relevant historical information as well as that relating to the current situation. It is important to record
details of any adults who are considered to or are likely to be posing a risk of significant harm to the child/young

Family History, Extended Family, and Environmental Factors

While Mr Smith was raised in the Croydon area, Mrs Smith is originally from
Jamaica and moved to the UK 8 years ago and now has Indefinite Leave to
Remain status. Mr and Mrs Smith married 4 years ago but have been in a
relationship for 6 years. Mr Smith described his childhood as positive, despite
being losing his mother at 16, after which he and his three younger sisters
were raised by his father. He described his father as a gentle man and said
Benjamin seems to share this trait of his father.

Mrs Smith is the youngest of two children, having an older brother that still
lives in Jamaica. Raised by both her parents, Mrs Smith said her mother was
dominant at times but she thinks her childhood was like most of her friends.
Both of Mrs Smith’s parents still reside in Jamaica. Upon asking about her
drinking, Mrs Smith said she doesn’t recall her parents drinking much.

Mr Smith said he remains close with his sisters who all live in the Croydon /
Mitcham area and reported they often all go to his father’s on Sundays. Mr
Smith also shared his sisters have been really helpful, coming to spend time
with Mrs Smith and taking her out to the shops so she isn’t out alone.

Mrs Smith said she finds this helpful but cannot rely on her sister-in-laws
forever as they have families.

The analysis should list the factors that have an impact on different aspects of the child/young person’s development
and parenting capacity, and explore the relationship between them. This process of analysing the information
available about the child/young person’s needs, parenting capacity and family and environmental factors should
result in a clear understanding of the child/young person’s needs, and what types of service provision would best
address these needs to ensure the child/young person has the opportunity to achieve his or her potential. It is
important to include any evidence that the child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm.

While there are a number of concerns highlighted in this assessment, there
are equally a number of strengths. This family has not come to the attention
of social care previously and the Housing Department have Mr and Smith
residing in the same property for the past 6 years so there is no concern of
the family being known to another local authority. Mrs Smith is currently
struggling with feelings of anxiety and possibly depression, resulting in self
medicating behaviour through the consumption of alcohol. While Mrs Smith
admits she needs help, there is limited evidence to suggest she has been
proactive in support to address these issues.

Information gathered also suggests she is unable to prioritise the needs of
Benjamin as she was seen being verbally abusive toward him in public and
remained angry with him after he woke her that same morning before school.
While Mrs Smith told the social worker she was normally a good mother, it
does not minimise the emotional impact her behaviours have on Benjamin

Fortunately, Mr Smith seems to be a protective factor within the family home.
As the report indicates, Mr Smith stopped working when he was aware there
was an issue and assured the social worker the family can live on benefits
until Mrs Smith is better. When the social worker asked Mr Smith if he has
considered plans if Mrs Smith would deteriorate further, Mr Smith said he has
already spoken with his father, who agreed for Mr Smith and Benjamin to stay
with him to prevent any distress to Benjamin.

Additionally, the school has observed an improvement in Benjamin’s
demeanor and school attendance since Mr Smith became the primary carer of
Benjamin. Additionally, Ms Hunt has indicated Mr Smith talks to Miss Harley
at the end of every school day for any updates on Benjamin to ensure he is
settled at school, has maintained good concentration, and to learn about
Benjamin’s homework to help him in the evening.

While it is envisaged Mr Smith will need to support Mrs Smith with attendance
to alcohol services and GP appointments to address her depression and
anxiety, Social Care is confident he will do this and Mrs Smith has admitted
she needs help. Perhaps more importantly, Mr Smith is able to meet all of
Benjamin’s ever changing needs and has been pro active in making positive
changes to support Benjamin so he can enjoy and achieve. As a result, the
social worker recommends no further action at this time.

This section should be completed following a discussion with the team manager.

Is the child/young person a child in need as defined by the Children Act
Benjamin’s needs are currently being met by his father, Mr Smith.

Whenever there is a reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, there
should be a strategy discussion involving social services, the police and other agencies as appropriate. Immediate
legal action to protect the child includes court orders applied for by the local authority, the Police and orders, such as
an injunction, applied for by a parent to protect a child.

Childrens- Referred to Another Agency (Non SLA)

With Mother’s permission, social worker referred Mrs Smith to Croydon Drug
and Alcohol Agency for support.

Childrens- No further action


The completed Initial Assessment and Plan should be discussed with the child/young person and their
parent/carers. A copy should be provided to the child and appropriate family members, unless to do so would place
the child/young person at risk of significant harm.

Child/Young person’s comments on this assessment and plan. Please
record any areas of disagreement.
Benjamin said he wants his Mummy to feel happy again.

Parents’/Carers’ comments on this assessment and plan. Please record
any areas of disagreement.
Mrs Smith was happy to engage in the assessment after some initial
reluctance. Mr Smith is happy there is support out there if he or his family
need it.

Date Initial Assessment Completed                                     11.01.12
Reason the Initial Assessment was not completed within 10 days
Name and Signature of Social Worker Completing Initial Assessment                                      Date

Ms Maggie May                                                                                      11.01.12

Allocated To/Team
Ms Maggie May / Assess & Community – Intake                                                            Date

Authorised By
Ms Monica Drew                                                                                     11.01.12

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