Assessment Criteria

Assessing Need

It is important that an integrated system of delivery is supported by a consistent and comprehensive means of identifying the needs of children and families.

The following broad assessment framework follows the ‘Framework for Children in need Assessment Triangle Model’ (DH 2000) and is provided as a guide to the areas for consideration when assessing the needs of children and families.

The three bands within the assessment tool are intended to provide the practitioner with an indication of the level of service, Universal, Universal Plus or Universal Partnership Plus, likely to be required to support the individual child or family.

It should be stressed that the final decision regarding the type and level of intervention required rests with the practitioner using up-to-date information and professional judgement.

Development of Baby or Child (0–5 years)

Health

  • Physically healthy
  • Registered with GP & accessing appropriate health services
  • Meeting developmental milestones
  • Regular dental care
  • Adequate and nutritious diet
  • Registered with a Children Centre
  • Mild/Moderate mental or physical health needs or behavioural difficulties
  • Mild disability
  • Developmental delay
  • Infant health issues
  • Poor diet/nutrition/obesity
  • Poor health/dental care
  • Frequent Illness
  • Persistent minor health problems resulting in poor attendance at pre- school and or engagement with other children’s services
  • Significant mental or physical health needs or behavioural difficulties
  • Moderate disabilities
  • Severe developmental delay
  • Faltering Growth
  • Multiple A&E attendance causing concern
  • Suspected non-accidental injury
  • Chronic Illness

Emotional & Social Development

  • Positive attachment to significant adult
  • Age appropriate friendships
  • Positive relationships with peers
  • No mental health concerns
  • Ready for School
  • Difficulty forming relationships with others/peers
  • Suffering, discrimination or harassment
  • Dysfunctional family relationships impacting on child
  • Child finding it difficult to manage and control actions and emotions
  • Inappropriate responses and actions
  • Child finding it difficult to cope with anger, frustration
  • Difficulty managing change
  • Vulnerability to emotional problems - anxious, angry, defiant
  • No positive relationships
  • Suffered moderate neglect/chaotic parenting
  • At risk of sexual exploitation or prostitution
  • Child has suffered or may have suffered physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect leading to Child Protection services
  • Child spends much time alone

Behavioural Development

  • Age appropriate behaviour and self-control
  • No concerns about substance misuse, lifestyle, aggression or potential offending
  • Disruptive behaviour
  • Impulsive/lack self-control
  • Child’s behaviour puts health at risk
  • Behavioural problems likely to cause pre-school exclusions
  • Aggressive or/anti-social behaviour

Identity

  • Positive sense of self (including race/religion)
  • Sense of belonging
  • Child prevented from making links with own community
  • Subject to discrimination
  • Low in confidence
  • Insecurity around identity
  • Lacks self-confidence/ self esteem
  • Enduring racial abuse
  • Family environment impacting on identity (substance misuse/ poverty/unemployment/ crime)

Family & Social Relationships

  • Stable and affectionate relationships with parents/carers demonstrated by:-
    • Showing pleasure when seeing main carer
    • High warmth and praise environment
    • Adjusts to new experiences appropriately
    • Has appropriate relationships with siblings
  • Over-protected child unable to develop own identity
  • Inconsistent relationships with family and friends
  • Unresolved issues arising from parental issues (divorce, death, disputes etc.)
  • Difficulty sustaining relationships
  • Child unable to build stable relationships with others
  • Child lacks positive role models
  • Child subject to Child Protection Plan
  • Child experiencing multiple carers
  • Privately fostered
  • Dysfunctional family relationships impacting on child
  • Disabled children for whom there are excessive requests for respite care
  • Child presents as severely neglected
  • Child has significant caring responsibilities that impact on development
  • Child has suffered or may have suffered physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect

Self-Care Skills & Independence

  • Age appropriate self-care skills.
  • Age appropriate respect for boundaries and rules
  • Children are supported to explore ‘risk situations’ in a controlled manner/environment.
  • Poor problem solving and/or practical self-care and social skills
  • Overprotected/unable to develop independence
  • Impaired self-care skills through disability
  • Over friendly, withdrawn and/or isolated
  • Slow development of age appropriate self-care skills
  • Significant mental/physical health needs/behavioural difficulties impacting on ability to care for self
  • Severe developmental delay impacting ability to care for self
  • Social circumstances impacting on ability to care adequately for self/own safety

Learning

  • Pre-school child with access to appropriate play/stimulation & developmental opportunities.
  • Attending school regularly and no concerns about achievement or engagement with education
  • Acquiring a range of skills and interests
  • Ready for School
  • Pre-school child under stimulated
  • English is second language at home - parents may have a poor grasp of English/or main carer does not speak English
  • Lacks motivation/poor concentration/engagement
  • Unexplained absences from pre-school
  • Lack of access to safe play/range of play, e.g. messy play
  • Learning difficulties
  • Speech and language therapy required
  • Often appears tired in nursery / pre- school
  • Pre-school child seriously under stimulated so as to impair development
  • Multiple temporary exclusions from nursery / pre-school
  • Statement of Special Educational Need
  • No books in family home

Parents & Carers

Basic Care, Safety & Protection

  • Parent (s) provide for child’s physical needs e.g. appropriate nutrition, clothing, medical & dental care
  • Protection from danger and harm in the home and elsewhere
  • Inability to recognise health care needs for self or child
  • Poor maternal health/not accessing ante or post natal health care
  • Mental or physical health need that may impact on ability to provide basic care
  • Parent struggling without support
  • Substance misuse/alcohol misuse affecting general parenting
  • Parent unable to meet child’s special needs without support
  • Young carer – inappropriate caring responsibilities for siblings or parent
  • Ante-natal or post-natal depression
  • Inappropriate child care arrangements including many different carers
  • Inconsistent basic care
  • Young inexperienced parent
  • Parent struggling with own emotional needs
  • Parents / carer unaware of need for boundary setting in order to protect child
  • Poor social presentation including: inappropriate clothes (age, weather), unclean, ‘smelly’
  • Mental or physical health problem, learning disability or substance misuse that impacts on ability to provide basic care for child.
  • Inability to recognise health care needs in self or child so therefore child’s health & development will be significantly impaired.
  • On-going domestic abuse
  • Adult substance misusers living in/visiting the home
  • Requesting child is housed elsewhere
  • Child at risk of being looked after
  • Unable to protect from significant harm including contact with unsafe adults
  • Allegation or reasonable suspicion of serious injury/abuse
  • Siblings/parents offending

Emotional Warmth & Stability

  • Stable and affectionate relationships with family members
  • Warm regard, praise and encouragement
  • Parents provide secure and consistent parenting /caring
  • Parent’s problems affect capacity to nurture.
  • Over anxious of child’s health
  • Unsupported parent
  • Lack of warmth
  • Family disputes impacting on child including contact with parent
  • Poor home routine
  • Susceptible to bouts of chaotic/erratic parenting
  • Complex family dynamics results in on-going level of instability
  • Parents unable to provide stable family environment
  • Parents highly critical of child and provide no warm encouragement/praise
  • Very chaotic parenting
  • Child/parent relationship at risk of breakdown
  • Parent unable to control child

Guidance Boundaries & Stimulation

  • Parents provide appropriate guidance & boundaries to help child develop as responsible citizen
  • Facilitates cognitive development through interaction & play
  • Positive regard for education & achievement
  • Accesses appropriate leisure activities for child
  • Parent(s) provide inconsistent boundaries/responses
  • Parent provides limited interaction/stimulation for young child
  • Prevents child attending pre-school / school
  • Needs assistance to access leisure activities for child
  • Parent does not expose child to new experiences/interaction with others
  • Lack of response to concerns raised regarding child
  • Inadequate supervision of child
  • Parent does not access any leisure activity for child
  • Parent(s) do not offer good role model – e.g. anti-social behaviour/domestic violence
  • Parent inability to promote stimulation/play so child development delayed
  • Significant condoned absence from pre- school /school
  • Significant levels of parenting difficulties including no/lack of supervision, erratic parenting, intolerant, critical and rejecting

Family & Environment

Family History, Functioning & Well Being

Good family relationships, including where parents are separated Shared mealtimes Positive routines
  • Family conflicts or difficulties that may involve children
  • History of involvement with statutory service
  • Loss of significant adult through bereavement or separation
  • Mild/moderate physical or mental health difficulties in immediate family
  • Multiple births/high number of pre-school children
  • Family seeking asylum or refugees
  • Sibling/parent involved in criminal activity
  • Difficulty with parental engagement
  • Family not coping
  • Parental dispute
  • Young carer (parent/siblings)
  • Incidents of domestic violence or substance misuse
  • Family with history of Child Protection registration/previous removal of child
  • Family involved in criminal activity/received custodial sentence
  • Family breakdown related in some way to child’s behavioural difficulties
  • Adults who pose an actual or potential risk to children
  • Privately fostered
  • Living with relations

Wider Family

  • Larger familial network and good friendships outside of the family unit
  • Well involved in community activities
  • Limited support from family/friends
  • Family live at a distance
  • Family is socially isolated
  • Family has poor relationships or no contact with extended family

Housing, Employment & Financial Considerations

  • Accommodation has good amenities and appropriate facilities
  • Parents able to manage working or unemployment arrangements adequately
  • Reasonable income with resources used appropriately to meet individual needs
  • Good work/life balance
  • Barely adequate/poor/temporary accommodation
  • Housing causing family stress
  • Periods of unemployment causing stress
  • Low income/financial hardship
  • Difficulties managing household finances
  • Low level debt/in need of financial advice
  • Lack of affordability for basic amenities including household fuel and food
  • Frequent housing moves
  • Parental/family stress from overworking
  • Chronic unemployment affecting parents/family significantly
  • Overcrowded or temporary housing
  • In poor state or repair
  • Difficult to obtain employment due to poor basic life skills
  • Parents experience continuing stress due to unemployment or ‘overworking’
  • Serious debts/poverty impacting on ability to meet family’s basic needs
  • Physical accommodation places child in danger

Social & Community Elements & Resources

  • Good universal services in the neighbourhood
  • Family integrated into the community
  • Good social networks
  • Family registered with Sure Start Children’s Centre & GP
  • Family has good access to information
  • Adequate universal services but family may not be accessing them
  • Family new to the area
  • Family experiencing harassment or discrimination
  • Poor social contacts
  • Asylum seeking/refuge family
  • Poor access to Sure Start Children’s centres
  • Poor quality/vandalised play areas
  • Family not accessing targeted services
  • Family is socially excluded
  • No play areas or gang culture dominates
  • Fearful of walking in the streets
  • Flats with no lift
  • No bus/access to public transport