Getting to Know Children and Their Families: A Framework of Questions to Help Social Workers Gather Appropriate Information
Asmita Parmar and Pat Spatcher, Russell House Publishing
ISBN 1903855722, £19.95
STAR RATING: 4/5
Parmar and Spatcher have put together a useful tool for student social workers unused to collecting the information they need from families, writes Sheena Thomas.
The introduction summarises the existing framework for assessment’s main elements and the subsequent questions are based around it. They are structured and age-related and helpful as a “crib sheet” but because of the nature of the framework there is some repetition.
The novice should not attempt to ask all the questions, but pick and choose those that they feel are relevant.
Also, the wording of some of the questions for the older children is rather blunt, particularly around sensitive issues such as sexuality and drug-taking.
The questions need some adaptation to fit in with the new common assessment framework, although the two are very similar.
Some categories have been compressed (for example, parent and carer capacities) and others extended (for example, emotional and behavioural development and self esteem).
All in all, a useful tool for the novice practitioner who may be uncertain about how to open up a dialogue with families.
Sheena Thomas is research and information manager, Include, a national charity tackling the social exclusion of young people