Different Forms of Assessment Tools
Ensuring assessments are done properly when dealing with child cases is vital. Without an accurate and detailed assessment, there is the chance that the child’s intervention may suffer. With the results not reflecting the best possible outcome and result for the young person’s targets and future development.
A good assessment will have a holistic approach monitoring and recording interaction and results when working with services and different agencies and the impact they are having on the young person and their family. At times the interventions may be delivered to the carer/guardian or parent, however the focus must remain on the needs of the young person.
In One-Eighty we use various methods to understand our young people, their families and their environments. One of these is called ‘Eco Mapping’:
Eco-maps: Help to picture and visually locate the family in their current social context and the family’s connection and links within the wider society. They can benefit when working closely with migrant and refugee families to help understand the isolation and disconnection faced. Those involved in a young person’s case can then easily identify: –
- The overall family’s dynamics
- Social support systems
- Connections with society and the quality
- Connection to wider world
- Areas of resource support
- Service duplication
Different parts of the map use different images to help us see correlations and patterns. Squares = Males, Circles = Women, each person’s name and age goes within the centre of either the square or the circle. Lines are used to represent the quality of the relationships between family members.
As with all assessments there are pro’s and con’s of any assessment:
There can occasionally be disagreements between family members about their perceptions of their relationship quality and their views on the levels of support.
Useful to repeat the exercise after a few months to assess changes in the family relationships.
They allow agencies to analyse whether the support a family is receiving are adequate and appropriate to the needs of the family and the young person.
They help to identify if there is miss-communication between services and service delivery.
Department for Education, (2013). Working Together to Safeguard Children. Department for Education, pp.18 – 19.