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The Assessment 

The assessment explores 5 key areas

The child's experience of being parented

How the parent meets the physical and emotional needs of the child. This includes the parent's ability to be attuned to their child. 

Parental functioning

Explores the parent's history and considers how it impacts on parenting. Looks at issues such as the parent's ability to change, decision making, multi-tasking and how they manage risk and social media. 

Specific issues

Considers additional issues such as domestic abuse, alcohol, drug use, offending and gambling. The assessment also risk factors which may have a cultural context. .

The parent's daily living skills

How the parent is able to organise and manage daily life. Considers the parent's ability to cook , provide a clean safe home and manage money.


If any gaps are identified in the areas above then the parent's support network and their ability to access support is considered.

Key Features

Easy to Understand

ParentAssess is designed to be simple and easy to read by the parents who are being assessed. We recognise that being assessed is a stressful process and it is important the parent understands what they might need to do to work towards a positive outcome. ParentAssess uses the traffic light system throughout the assessment along with a range of visual aids to assist them.

Achieving Change 

Although the assessment is not a parenting programme, assessors are required to ascertain the parent's ability to change, so guidance can be given while the assessment is in progress meaning no time is wasted.  Assessors are trained to use a range of techniques which are known to assist parents with learning disabilities such as repetition, breaking down a task and modelling.  

Interactive Tools 

ParentAssess uses a range of interactive and creative tools to help the parent feel more able to work positively with the assessor.  The tools help identify strengths and any concerns. There are also tools which ensure the child is kept at the centre of the assessment,  All of the tools are adaptable to ensure cultural difference is considered. 

Easy Read Report 

Parents have often told us they find long reports overwhelming and so while a report outlining the analysis is completed , a separate Short Parent Report is given to the parent. This explains the outcome in a clear 'easy to understand' way.  The parent is also given the Outcome Table with the traffic light gradings to help them understand. 

What makes it a ParentAssess?

Assessors can use the tools flexibly but they should be able to explain how they have applied them. However, there are key elements of ParentAssess which are essential:

  1. The parent should be given the Strengths and Concerns Summaries at the earliest point possible in the assessment, so they are clear what they need to work on

  2. At least 2 but preferably 3, parent/child observations should be completed with clear feedback given to the parent

  3. The parent's ability to learn and use adaptive strategies must be assessed

  4. The parent must be given the Abridged Parent Report written in clear language 

  5. The Appendix should contain the Outcome Table, the Assessor's Summary and a copy of the Short Parent Report

  6. Tables must be printed in colour so they have meaning to the parent

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