Collaborative assessment and planning
The collaborative assessment and planning framework is used in partnership with children, young people, families and their extended safety and support network to:
- undertake a rigorous and balanced assessment of what has happened and what is happening in the family in relation to the safety, belonging and wellbeing of the children
- work together to enhance the children’s future safety, belonging and wellbeing.
The collaborative assessment and planning framework tool is organised around four key questions
- What has happened/is happening within the family that worries us?
- When outlining harm statements consider the perpetrator patterns of coercive control using statements outlining clear, descriptive specific behaviours in context that is linked to the harm of the child. Actions taken by the perpetrator to harm the child.
- Outline the complicating factors including the role of substance abuse, mental health and other factors. Ensure that the relationship between these factors and the domestic violence. For example, a father encouraging the mother to drink then making reports to services voicing concern for her use of alcohol.
- What is going well within the family?
- When outlining acts of protection consider the full spectrum of the mother’s actions to promote the safety and wellbeing on the child. There is a tool available to support with this called the mapping survivors protective capacities tool.
- When outlining belonging consider how the mother has promoted the child connection to family, community and culture in the context of the violence.
- When outlining strengths and resources the mapping survivors protective capacities tool can be used to identify the positive factors, resources or capabilities that enhance the child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing.
- Safety and wellbeing scale: On a scale of 0 to 10, how safe is it for the children in the care of the family at this point in time?
- Ask the mother how she would scale the safety and pay attention to her views?
- Worry statements incorporate the ongoing adverse impact of the perpetrators behaviour to the child if his behaviour doesn’t change.
- What needs to happen for the children to be safe and well in the future? (identifying future worries, collaborative goals and action steps to achieve these goals) Consider Safe and Together principles when crafting goals and ensure that case plan goals enhance safety.
Applying this tool when working with a father who uses violence helps to organise information in relation to what behaviours he is using to harm the children and disrupt the mother’s ability and capacity to effectively parent.
You can clearly identify the intersection with mental health and/or alcohol and other drug use as complicating factors, but make sure to keep the father’s choice to use violence at the forefront of any case planning with the family. This way of working highlights to the mother that she is not to blame for the violence, and that the father must make changes to his behaviour to enhance the children’s safety, belonging and wellbeing.
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