The Assessment Framework
ParentAssess is a framework developed in 2016 for assessing parents who have learning disabilities and other additional needs within childcare proceedings. It addresses both the emotional and practical aspects of parenting and seeks to identify both the strengths and concerns. The traffic light system means the assessment outcomes are measurable and easy to read.
The framework can be used where children remain in their parents' care or where the children have been placed in foster care and supervised contact is in place.
ParentAssess has also been adopted by a number of Mother and Baby Residential Units.
ParentAssess uses a range of visual tools. We do not use drawings or cartoons which parents with learning disabilities can find patronising and hard to assimilate to their own life. Instead we use photos of situations and things the parent is likely to see in everyday life. Assessors are encouraged to consider the parent's needs and use the tools accordingly. The framework is designed so it can be updated to ensure it is kept current.
ParentAssess has been used successfully in the Family Courts since 2017
Sarah Lowe has over 40 years of experience in the social work field and specifically with people who have learning disabilities. Initially, Sarah worked in residential care supporting the rehabilitation of adults with learning disabilities as they left the large institutions and this gave her valuable insight into how to develop daily living skills and help people gain a better understanding of risk.
Since 2002 Sarah has worked as an Independent Social Worker specialising in undertaking assessments of parents who have learning disabilities. During that time she has gained an understanding of the difficulties facing parents with additional needs and the importance of them being able to understand the assessment process.
Sarah has also worked as a Head of a Local Authority Disability Service giving her an excellent understanding of how children's and adult services can support people with a learning disability.
Sarah has studied at the Tavistock and Portman Clinic and is CARE-Index and ADBB Trained
In ParentAssess the optional software supports the work of the assessor by making the completion of the assessment easier. It's main function is to generate the tables once the information is entered. This makes understanding progress and the outcome much easier for the parent. The software is designed to be simple and easy to use.
The software is available in Windows and Mac versions