Parenting, Risk and PAMS Assessments

Tracey Watson Child and Family Assessments Ltd offer expert Parenting and Risk Assessments incorporating the Parenting Assessment Manual (PAMS) assessments.

The Parenting and Risk Assessments and PAMS Assessments are carried out in compliance with The Department for Education’s Working Together guidance, which has been effective since April 2013 and the Framework for Assessment for Children in Need and their Families, Department of Health, 2000.

The Assessment will follow the four key principles referred to in the revised guidance:

  • A detailed history
  • Assessment of the family and environmental factors
  • Assessment of the children’s overall developmental needs
  • Assessment of parenting capacity
  • Focus on the needs and views of the child
  • Provide a clear analysis
  • Focus on outcomes; identifying appropriate support services
  • Timeliness – assessments are completed within an agreed timescale.

The PAMS Assessments are a user friendly comprehensive tool for Local Authorities and the courts, in determining parenting capacity. The assessment identifies deficits in parenting and provides teaching requirements to bridge the gaps in poor parenting. The assessments are not only suitable for vulnerable parents but also parents with learning difficulties, with user friendly toolkits to support parents through the assessment process. These tools work well for those parents who find it hard to respond to verbal questions and for parents who tend to struggle with abstract concepts, such as emotional wellbeing.

Where a full PAMS assessment requires the use of the specially designed software, each parenting skill is assessed for parental knowledge, quality of parenting skills and frequency of parenting practice. The findings are delivered as statistical analysis and charts.
Both the Parenting and Risk Assessments and the PAMS Assessment focus upon the needs of specific children will comply with the requirements identified by the Court of Appeal in Re B-S.
The PAMS assessment will also consider ‘capacity to change’ focusing on specific parental issues such as mental health, learning disability, substance misuse, understanding and acknowledgment of concerns.
A thorough analysis of the positives and negative findings and the strengths and weaknesses informs a final recommendation.

Viability Assessments

Viability assessments are based on one or two visits. The focus is to ascertain the parent/carers capacity to engage with the assessment process; their understanding and attitude towards the concerns and an overall analysis of the family and environmental factors. A final recommendation is made of factors which may support or preclude a safe home.

Family Group Conferences

Tracey Watson Child and Family Assessments Ltd are able to organise and facilitate Family Group Conferences. This includes interviewing of family members, organising an appropriate venue, explain and advocate the FGC process to family, close liaison with social workers to create a robust family support network.

The result of the conference will always aim to deliver a child focused plan to assist in the overall safeguarding needs of the child.
Costs of FGC can vary due to distance, possible venue hire, and refreshments.

Sibling Assessments

These assessments involve detailed observations of the sibling group alongside consideration of the past history. Recommendations are then made for placement and contact.

Special Guardianship Assessments

Tracey Watson Child and Family Assessments are able to undertake Special Guardianship assessments for Local Authorities and the courts . A Special Guardianship Order is a private law order made under the Children Act 1989 and is intended for those children who cannot live with their birth parents consequently require a legally secure placement.