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The Assessment Process

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.

Although the assessment is not a parenting programme, assessors are required to ascertain the parent's ability to change or develop their parenting so some guidance is given. 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.  

Evidence is gathered from the tools, speaking to others in the support network, speaking to the child (if over 4 years) and direct observations. The results then all feed into the Outcome Table which provides a clear representation of the progress or concerns. It highlights the parent's strengths, areas where support is needed or where there are significant concerns in a format which is measurable. Using the traffic light system means it takes about 5 minutes to learn how to read the tables. 


Every parent has their own issues and identity, it is vital any assessment framework considers issues of diversity and the particular needs of the parent.  Assessors are trained to consider the individual needs of families carefully and the tools can be adapted to ensure cultural difference is respected.   


Although a report outlining the evidence and analysis is given to the parent's solicitor, parents have often told us they find these reports hard to read. Therefore when the assessment is completed the parent is provided with an Abridged Parent Report which explains the outcome in a clear 'easy to understand' way. 

The Assessor uses the ParentAssess Tools, Software and the Assessment Template. 

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 change 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 Abridged Parent Report

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

ParentAssess Tools 

  • Strengths and Concerns Record and Summaries 

  • Knowledge and Confidence Booklet  

  • Observation with Video Feedback

  • Interactive Picture Cards

  • Feelings Chart  

  • The ParentAssess Outcome Table  

  • Assessor’s Summary  

  • Abridged Parent Report

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