 If possible, to be completed before proceedings (e.g. in long term neglect cases
     where the LA has been working with the family)
    If proceedings are initiated in a crisis, to be completed within 6 weeks from the first
     hearing. CMC to be listed after this document is completed


                                  PARENTING ASSESSMENT
                           OF            AND THE            FAMILY

My name is                             . I am employed by Oxfordshire County Council in
the capacity as a Social Worker in the                  Team. My professional qualification
is Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Work.
(Full details of experience, qualifications and contact details are cited in the main Court

The Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (DoH 2000)
details the current assessment framework for safeguarding and promoting children’s
welfare. It decides a number of indices in three inter-related domains:

        Parenting Capacity (ability of parents to meet children’s needs)
        The Developmental Needs of the Children
        Family and Environmental Factors

This framework has been used as the basis for this Parenting Assessment. The evidence
is drawn from:
        the Local Authority’s observations of contact,
        two home visits to the           household,
        interviews with           and her mother and         and her father at the offices in

        Social Services records stemming from involvements with the family
        Investigations by the Child’s Guardian
Italicized comments under the heading are taken from the assessment framework and
indicate general needs and themes for assessment.

(For each of the headings write at least 2 paragraphs:
Paragraph 1 – your observations under that category
Paragraph 2 – your analysis of how this meets the child’s needs/impacts on the child

Keep any repetition of the same information under the different headings to a minimum

Be as succinct as possible—points made simply and well have the maximum impact

Keep the child at the heart of the assessment )

1.2 BASIC CARE: (Basic care is defined as providing for the children’s physical needs,
appropriate medical/dental care. It includes provision of food/drink, warmth, shelter,
appropriate clothing and adequate hygiene.)

1.3 ENSURING SAFETY: (Ensuring child is protected from harm and danger, including
from other unsafe adults or children and from self-harm. Recognition of hazards and
danger at home and elsewhere.)

1.4 EMOTIONAL WARMTH: (Ensuring child’s emotional needs are met and giving the
child a sense of being specially valued – also includes the child’s needs for secure, stable
and affectionate relationships with significant adults, with appropriate sensitivity and
responsiveness. Physical contact, comfort and cuddling, demonstrate warm regard,
praise and encouragement.)

1.5 STIMULATION: (Promoting learning and intellectual development through
encouragement and cognitive stimulation and promoting social opportunities – doing this
through interaction, communication, questions, joining in with play, promoting educational
opportunities. Enabling the child to experience success/school attendance or equivalent.
Facilitating child to met challenges of life.)

1.6 GUIDANCE AND BOUNDARIES: (Enabling child to regulate their own emotions
and behaviour. A key task for parents is demonstrating and modelling appropriate
behaviour and control of emotions in interactions with others. Providing Guidance
which involves setting boundaries so that the child can develop an internal sense of right
and wrong (-moral values and conscience)-appropriate social behaviour which reflects
wider societies values. The aim is for the child to become an autonomous adult, holding
their own values and able to demonstrate appropriate behaviour with others – rather than
having to be dependent on rules which are externally imposed on them. This includes not
overprotecting children from exploration and learning experiences. Includes social
problem solving, anger management, consideration for others, effective discipline and
shaping behaviour.)

1.7 STABILITY: (Providing a sufficiently stable family environment to enable a child to
develop and maintain a secure attachment to their primary caregiver(s) in order to ensure
optimal development. Includes: ensuring secure attachments are not disrupted,
consistency of emotional warmth and responding predictably to given behaviours.
Parents adapt to the child’s developing and changing needs. Ensuring child keeps in
contact with important family members and significant others.)


2.1 HEALTH: (Growth and development/physical and mental wellbeing. Impact of
genetic factors and any impairments. Receiving appropriate health care – both treatment
and prevention. Diet and exercise/’healthy lifestyles’. For older children – teaching and
encouraging healthy habits and self care skills – age appropriate information and advice.)

2.2 EDUCATION: (Includes all areas of cognitive development from birth. Opportunities
for play and interaction with other children; access to books; to acquire a range of skills
and interests; to experience success and achievement. Having an adult interested in
educational activities, progress and achievements – who takes account of the child’s
starting point and any special educational needs.)

appropriateness of the child’s responses in feelings and actions, initially to their
parents/immediate family and as the child gets older – to others. The nature and quality
of early attachments, characteristics of temperament, adaptation to change, response to
stress and appropriate degree of self-control.)

2.4 IDENTITY: (Concerns the child’s growing sense of self as a separate and valued
person. Child’s view of self and abilities, self image and self esteem – positive sense of
individuality. Race, religion, age, gender, sexuality and disability may all contribute to this.
Feelings of belonging and acceptance by family, peer group and wider society, including
other social groups.)

2.5 FAMILY AND SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS: (Development of empathy and the
capacity to place self in someone else’s shoes. Stable and affectionate relationship with
parents/carers, good relationships with siblings, increasing importance of age appropriate
friendships with peers and other significant persons in the child’s life and response of
family/parents to these relationships.)
2.6 SOCIAL PRESENTATION: (Concerns the child’s growing understanding of the way
in which appearance, behaviour, and any impairment are perceived by the outside world
and the impression being created.
Includes appropriateness of dress e.g. gender, culture and religion; cleanliness and
personal hygiene; and availability of advice from parents or caregiver about presentation
in different settings.)

2.7 SELF CARE SKILLS: (Acquisition of practical, emotional and communication
competencies required for increasing independence. Early practical skills of dressing and
feeding, opportunities to gain confidence and practical skills to undertake activities away
from the family and independence skills (for older children).
Includes encouragement to acquire social problem solving approaches. Special attention
should be paid to the impact of a child’s impairment and other vulnerabilities, and on
social circumstances affecting these in the development of self-care skills.


3.1 FAMILY HISTORY AND FUNCTIONING: (Family history includes both genetic and
psycho-social factors.
Family functioning is influenced by who is living in the household and how they are related
to the child; significant changes in family/household composition. History of childhood
experiences of parents; chronology of significant life events and their meaning to family
members; nature of family functioning, including sibling relationships and its impact on the
child; parental strengths and difficulties, including those of an absent parent; the
relationship between separated parents.)
3.2 WIDER FAMILY: (Who are considered to be members of the wider family by the
child and the parents? Includes related and non-related persons and absent wider family.
What is their role and importance to the child and parents and precisely in what way?)

3.3 HOUSING: (Does the accommodation have basic amenities and facilities
appropriate to the age and development of the child and other resident members? Is the
housing accessible and suitable to the needs of disabled family members?
Includes the interior and exterior of the accommodation and immediate surroundings.
Basic amenities include water, heating, sanitation, cooking facilities, sleeping
arrangements and cleanliness, hygiene and safety and their impact on the Child’s

3.4 EMPLOYMENT: (Who is working in the household, their pattern of work and any
changes? What impact does this have on the child? How is work or absence of work
viewed by family members? How does it affect their relationship with the child? It
includes children’s experience of work and its impact on them.)

3.5 INCOME: (Income available over a sustained period of time. Is the family in receipt
of all of its benefits entitlements? Sufficiency of income to meet the families needs. The
way resources are used. Are there financial difficulties which directly or indirectly affect
the child?)
3.6 FAMILY’S SOCIAL INTEGRATION: (Exploration of the wider context of the local
neighbourhood and community and its impact on the child and parents.
Includes the degree of family integration or isolation, their peer groups, friendships and
social networks and the importance attached to them.)

3.7 COMMUNITY RESOURCES: (Describes all the facilities and services in the
neighbourhood, including universal services of primary health care, day care and schools,
places of worship, transport, shops and leisure facilities.)


                , Social Worker


                , Unit Manager


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