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Assessment Skills

Courses are suitable for anybody who uses assessment to identify needs & strengths in children, young people and families; ranging from social care practitioners through to education staff etc. The three courses available are described below:

Introduction to assessment skills for those new to working with children, young people and families

  • An introductory course for practitioners new to assessing children and family needs, covering Principles of effective assessment; effective questioning; effective recording; solution focussed assessment techniques; understanding bias; confidentiality and the law. 

Advanced assessment skills for those assessing children, young people and family needs 

  • How is Neuropsychology influencing our knowledge of child development and assessment of need in children/young people.
  • Epigenetics and how practitioners assess the causes and needs around behaviour of children and families. Epigenetics has emerged to bridge the gap between the nature and nurture debate of human behaviour; Essential to understand when making holistic assessments.
  • What is emotional resilience- why do some children/young people cope better than others when faced with difficulties in their lives. How can we assess emotional resilience in children
  • Assessment Bias- Bias is an attitude for or against something, which unconsciously influences an individual’s judgement. How do practitioners ensure assessment is unbiased especially when bias is unconscious (mentioned in Baby P case review). Will cover Ideological bias; Expectational bias; Attitude structured expectation; Attribution structured bias
  • Contextual framework- How do practitioners assess a child's needs without being influenced by external factors around them. How do we decide what is important and what is not (Baby p case social workers were criticised for having lower expectations of the mothers ability to parent as she had a difficult childhood herself). Need for ipsative assessment ( assess the child's needs against themselves)
  • Dealing with Learned Helplessness in families- how can practitioners recognise the signs and the effect it will have on the ability of the family to change.
  • Early identification of need- What are some of the early indicators and assessing their impact in identifying areas like: teenage pregnancy/poor sexual health, substance misuse; child exploitation; at risk of crime; self harm; poor mental health etc
  • What are the effective screening tools around to help early identification- looks at screening tools like DUST; Goodmans SDQ etc

Adult services practitioners engaging and asessing families-

Key principles, skills and knowledge required to carry out effective assessment.

Include the following:

  • Principles of effective assessment- will focus on the key requirements of high quality assessment
  • Solution focussed assessment- looks at identifying strengths & needs, assessment talk, seeking exceptions to problems, positive reframing
  • Dealing with Bias in assessment- looking at various bias that can often unconsciously affect practitioner assessment
  • Learned Helplessness- Being aware of how long term difficulties and challenges that young people may have faced, can affect the assessment process.
  • Recording information- some key considerations
  • Key requirements of effective engagement
  • Effective questioning skills
  • Raising awareness and identifying signs of: CATE, Domestic Abuse, Self Harm, Analysis of ethnicity issues including potential for: vulnerability/victimisation.