This thoroughly revised and updated second edition of Child and Family Assessment in Social Work Practice is an essential guide for social work students and practitioners involved in the assessment of children and their families. Focusing on ‘core’ assessments and guiding the reader through the complexities of conducting assessments of need and risk, the book now includes within each chapter a range of specifically-tailored exercises and focus points which encourage readers both to reflect on what they have learnt and to understand how they can apply that learning to practice.

Placing a strong emphasis on good, evidence-based, assessment practice, Sally Holland has also, for this new edition, included original research evidence from a wide range of up-to-date research studies which are relevant to today's practice and which aim to promote a critical and reflective approach to the assessment process.

The book is divided into three parts: Part 1 explores different appoaches to assessment work, outlining policy changes and their implications for working with children and their families.; Part 2 studies those involved in child and family assessments: children and their parents; and the relationship between the assessors and the assessed.; Part 3 - a more practical guide - outlines the actual process of an assessment, illustrated by case studies, focusing on planning assessment methods, analysis, reporting and critical evaluation.

Accessibly relating theory and research to actual practice through the use of case studies, exercises, and suggestions for good practice and further reading, this book has a student-friendly structure It will be an invaluable resource for practitioners and academics across the field of social welfare, particularly for those embarking on, or already involved in, child and family assessment.

Time and Change
Time and change
Chapter Summary

This chapter contains discussion of some key issues relating to time and change in in-depth assessments. These are:

Current Policy Context
  • changing guidance on the length of time an assessment should take;
  • the impact of ‘e-assessment’ and increased regulation of time-scales;
  • the influence of permanency planning policies on assessment planning;
  • how assessment conclusions can accommodate future change.
  • the need to allow time for a fair assessment, balanced by the need of children and families for decisions to be made;
  • whether an assessment should aim to stimulate change, or to assess potential to change.

Social workers' views on these points are explored, and it can be seen that the wish of some for a flexible timeframe to meet the needs of individual families clashes with some of the ...

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