Facing the prospect of an assessment by a Social Worker can be an unsettling or anxious time for you and your family.
It’s important to know a few things from the start:
Working with us is an opportunity too. Most Independent Social Work Assessments of parents and children together are done at residential centres or parent and child foster placements – but we’ll come to you, which means you can stay in your own home.
We also offer support and advice to maximise your learning and chances of being able to stay together as a family. When you work with Aspire, you’ll be able to access help around the clock, so you’re never struggling alone.
We will have been asked to support your family as part of the care proceedings about your child and your allocated children’s social worker will introduce us.
For our first meeting, you’ll be visited by one of our managers, Hannah or Liz, who will explain what happens next. You’ll create a plan for the assessment period together and we’ll leave you with details of what’s to come.
We’ll tell you who your Assessor will be and, if you’re having additional support from us too, we’ll introduce your Key Worker. Some families will be working with our Community Support team alongside their assessment, which means we will provide help in the home for longer periods of the day or even overnight. Your Key Worker will be the person who spends most time with you, supporting you with day to day activities and offering help and advice on all aspects of family life. Your Assessor will visit regularly in order to complete the assessment report.
Towards the end of the assessment, our Assessors write a report recommending outcomes to the court – but the court itself will make the decision. We share our thoughts with you throughout the assessment period with regular updates and reviews, so you’ll know exactly what’s going on at all times.
Aspire has a team of Family Practitioners (both men and women) who will come and stay with you for as long as we are needed. Depending on what has been agreed by the Court and your solicitors, this could be both day and night. Our role is to supervise your child or children, offer you support to develop new skills and provide evidence of what day-to-day life is like for your child. We try to be as low key as we can within your home.
We understand that someone being in your home during the night can feel a bit weird. Our workers are quite used to this however and are happy to sleep either in a spare room or living room. We will bring all the bedding and belongings that we need with us so you don’t have to worry about that.
No, not at all. Our team will come prepared for the time that they are with you. You do not need to provide them with food or drinks. They might ask to use the kettle or wash up their own dishes but other than that they won’t trouble you.
In fact, we supply a box with cleaning products, toilet roll, tea bags and so on for staff use and we top this up throughout. We ask that workers avoid using your electricity and they should charge phones/ computers at home and bring a power bank. Of course if a worker is with you for a particularly long period, or under specific circumstances they might need to use electricity to assist in their work with you (for example using their computer to support you in a virtual meeting or to look at resources online). We will always ask your permission for this to happen.
We will hold a review every 2 weeks which will include you and all the professionals involved. In this meeting you will get fair and balanced feedback about how things are going. You will also get your say which is really important to us.
The review structure follows the progress of the agreed action plan to make sure we are on track and keep us focused on the goals for you and your family.
Day to day you will receive feedback from the family practitioner working with you, both in the moment and at the end of the session to talk about things that have gone well and then any worries or safety issues. We will work with you to share ideas and build solutions for problems together during these moments. After every session, the family practitioner will write a log of the session which is sent to the local authority to be shared with all the parties. This can also act as a reminder of the session and solutions and actions agreed.