What is the Framework of Assessment for a Child in Need and their Family?

When the Local Authority have received a referral with regard to a child, they must assess whether the child represents a Child in Need.

“I can really say this
from the heart – and I
can’t say it enough –
Brendan and the whole
team are one in a million.
They are really on your
side and dedicated to you
and your fight for justice.”Our client, Mrs L.W.

How they go about this is monitored by a statutory assessment framework to help them draw the correct conclusions with regard to the needs of the child and allow them to make the best decisions for the child’s future.

The framework gives the Local Authority  a systematic way of analysing, collecting and understanding information with regard to the welfare of the child from three different vantages: the child’s developmental needs; the capacity of the child’s parents to provide those needs and safeguarding them from harm; and the impact of relatives and outside factors (environmental, etc.) on the child and his/her parents. Both strengths and weaknesses need to be identified.

This framework is best laid out in the below diagram:


The assessment progresses through four, overlapping, stages:

  1. the acquisition of information
  2. putting meaning into the situation
  3. reaching an understanding with the family of what is happening
  4. drawing up an analysis of the child’s needs and the parenting capacity as a basis for formulating a plan.

The conclusion of an assessment should result in:

  • An analysis of the needs of the child and the parenting capacity to respond appropriately to those needs within their family context;
  • Knowing whether and, if so, where intervention will be required to secure the well-being of a child;
  • A plan of action, detailing who has responsibility, establishing the criteria for success, a time-table (based on the timescale for the child within which changes must occur) and a process for review.

Brendan Fleming Solicitors are nationally recognized as a leading choice in the area of care work. We are justifiably proud of our expertise and our success rate. We are contracted to the Legal Services Commission for this type of work and are considered to be one of the leading national firms for publicly funded services.

Our principal, Brendan Fleming, has won a reputation for his innovative approach, spearheading many new ways of securing justice for families caught in the care proceedings trap. He is a member of a select children’s panel and recognized and approved by the Law Society.

If you need a Care Proceedings Solicitor to help you, contact Brendan Fleming today:

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