The New Children’s Pathways team have experience in delivering a range of professional services for Statutory Services, Third Sector Organisations and as Ordered by the Courts. An example of our current capacity for professional reports is as follows:
When a family becomes involved in child protection or family Law Court proceedings it is often the case that a family report will be ordered by the presiding member of the judiciary or an Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL). The purpose of the report is to allow the courts an understanding as to what issues are impacting upon the children and the family. These reports are completed and provide information about members of the family and guides the court to make decisions about what is in the best interests of the subject children.
As a family report writer, I want to make sure you have the opportunity to speak to someone independent so your views and wishes and information about the family can be documented.
Many parent’s and solicitors choose to have a Family Report completed to ensure all the available and appropriate information is provided to the court in a concise succinct format. Quotes can be provided very quickly and fees are determined on the complexity of the report and the needs of the family.
A social assessment report includes information about your child’s history, living situation, views and wishes. It also provides an independent opinion on the best way to protect your child’s best interests.
The social assessment also contains information about the family and considers what strengths the family has to address the children’s needs. During the assessment process New Children’s Pathways report writers try and identify what family supports are available to the children to protect them from harm.
A court or tribunal may consider the report’s recommendations when deciding whether a child protection order should be put in place for your child.
Kinship Initial Assessments
Assessment of kinship carers is undertaken by the child protection practitioner, and this process is different to foster care assessment in that it takes account of distinctive issues:
- the pre-existing relationship between the child, family and the carer
- the carer is being assessed to care for a specific child
- the carers are usually identified by the child or their family
- the expectations of carers and standards accepted may be different from those for carers who are unknown to the child.
Kinship Renewal Assessments
This is an assessment of the kinship carers capacity to continue to meet the needs of the children in their home. The assessment domains are a continuation of the initial assessment domains but focus on how the carers have been coping with children in their care, any issues or difficulties identified during the period of care for the children and any identified future intervention being sought by the department and the carer’s capacity to support such goals. The renewal process also considers any concerns identified during the placement in the past approval period.
Foster Care Assessments
The New Children’s Pathways Team are able to complete general foster care initial and renewal assessments.
Assessment frameworks used consistently include the following topics:
- motivation to care;
- social supports available;
- relationships with family and children;
- parenting style;
- childhood history;
- stress management;
- household safety;
- referee and health checks;
- applicants understanding of harm;
- cultural awareness; and
In-Home Reunification Assessment Service
When children are reunified to a natural placement this process requires effective planning and management. Children should, where it is possible, return home to their parents once child protection concerns that were identified have been addressed. Good decision making is grounded in thorough and evidence-based assessments of the child’s developmental needs, present and future risk of harm and parental capability from a range of different sources of information.
The New Children’s Pathways Team are able to provide quality reunification processes inducing staff that can conduct regular home visits and progress reports. A reunification assessment should include information obtained and include direct observations and interviews with:
- The children
- The parents and any siblings
- Significant other family members
- Education providers
A Parenting Risk Assessment is a detailed, community-based assessment designed to identify potential risks to the child (e.g. child sex abuse, neglect, emotional/physical harm/abuse, drug abuse). The risk assessment relies on information gathered from the child, parents and extended family and professional network.
The New Children’s Pathways Team has a number of independent practitioner’s with extensive experience in the child protection and family law areas. As an organisation we complete comprehensive holistic assessments in order to achieve the best outcomes for the child. We have a proven track record in relation to assisting hard to reach parents develop their skills and knowledge through direct observation, psychoeducation, role modelling behaviours, providing guidance/support and demonstrating practical childcare/parenting issues.
The Parenting Risk Assessment collates all the available evidence and information about the child’s situation and sets it out in the form of a comprehensive report making clear and achievable recommendations about if and how the identified risks can be reduced and managed.
The New Children’s Pathways Team undertake Parenting/Risk Assessments on behalf of child protection authorities or services when concerns arise in relation to a parent’s ability to adequately and safely care for their child. Concerns of a child protection nature may come about because the parent has misused drugs or alcohol, they may have mental health issues or a learning disability or there might be domestic violence in the parents’ relationship.
Taking into account that the child is likely to have been exposed to factors of neglect, physical and emotional abuse and/or sexual abuse. New Children’s Pathways Parenting/Risk Assessment will assess the parents’ capacity to change whilst ensuring the child remains the focus of the assessment process.
The New Children’s Pathway Team can also deliver this assessment through a residential assessment. This residential assessment can take place in one of our properties or in the parents’ home. This type of assessment is identified as the Gold Standard in UK safeguarding but is rarely utilised in Australia.