Psychological Reports in Child Care Cases: Their uses and limitations.

When can a Psychological Assessment Be Helpful? 

There are a variety of circumstances when a psychological assessment can
be helpful to the social services department.  However, in general it can be
said that a psychological assessment is indicated where the Local Authority
has concerns or questions relating to the psychological aspects of a adults
functioning / behaviour.  Examples of this would include:

  Assessment of level of intellectual functioning;
  Assessment of clients likely cooperation with / honesty in
interactions with professionals;
  Diagnosis of psychological difficulties (e.g. personality disorder,
depression, post Traumatic stress disorder, self-esteem etc) and
discussion of how these issues might impact upon parenting,
including structured psychometric assessment;
 Recommendations for psychological treatment, prognosis and
  Advice regarding the availability of treatment within the NHS and
the clients likelihood of being accepted for such treatment /
recommendations for appropriately qualified and suitable private
practitioners to provide treatment which is not available on the NHS;
  Discussion of potential impact of psychological interventions on
parenting capacity;
  Assessment of risk – e.g. sexual offending, violent offending, self-
  Assessment of insight and ability to make and sustain change;
  Assessment of relationship dynamics;
  Assessment of childhood experiences and their impact upon
parenting capacity.

Reports prepared where legal proceedings were not ongoing at the time, or in
previous legal proceedings may be disclosed within future legal proceedings.

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