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Making Sense of Child and Family Assessment


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. Foreword. Glossary. 1. Making Sense of Analysis. 2. Searching and Seeing in Assessment. 3. Building the Picture. 4. Developing Explanations. 5. Using Intuition Effectively. 6. The Child at the Centre. 7. Developing Practice in Analysis. Bibliography. Index.

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Highly practical guidance on how to analyse information gathered during the assessment of children and young people and their families for child protection professionals

About the Author

Duncan Helm is a senior teaching fellow at the University of Stirling, where he is Course Director for the Graduate Certificate in Child Welfare and Protection. Duncan previously worked in a variety of local authority child and family settings, and is now primarily engaged in continuing professional development for practitioners involved in working with or on behalf of vulnerable children and young people.


The book draws on the most up to date research into what works best for children. It goes on to provide practical, realistic suggestions as to how practitioners in social work, health and education can aim to achieve enhanced resilience and safety of the children under their care... The author, Duncan Helm, Senior teaching fellow at Sterling University has sensibly and coherently put together the subject matters of searching and seeing, building the picture, developing explanations, using intuition effectively, whilst keeping the child at the centre in order to make sense of the assessment. The book aims to fill the gap in the field of analysing children's needs, which is a crucial and most demanding part of the assessment process. The book places emphasis on how the practitioner's skills and human qualities play a role in assessment of a child's needs and in approaching recommendations. The book provides an overview of the key elements of theory behind the practices, and explains quite lucidly issues such as how information gathering, and their analyses by different professionals in different sectors leads on to develop hypotheses about cases. The readers will find the book informative of theories behind many activities that we, the health care professionals in particular, may already be carrying out without conscious knowledge of the bases. The professional development this book may potentially offer to the readers it to instil confidence in the work that we often do by default in the fields of safeguarding and assessing a child's need. The theoretical knowledge base would go on to add credence to any service development. -- BACCHNEWS
If you are a practitioner trying to make sense of all the changes, and how best to integrate the various tools you have been asked to use with your own observations, to analyse and formulate easy to understand plans - without losing sight of your all important 'gut feeling' - then this is the book for you. Easy to read, helpful and above all informative, the book has seven very easy to grasp chapters, each jam-packed with information... I commend the author for his ability to describe the various links between government objectives, target setting and research, all somehow set out within a context that understands the challenges of working within the 'real world' of social care.... This book explains the 'what', the 'why' and the 'how' of it all - in other words, what's relevant to the work we do. -- Professional Social Work

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