Assessment in Child Care

Book Cover - Assessment in Child CareEdited by Martin C Calder and Simon Hackett,
Russell House Publishing,
ISBN 1903855144,

A good assessment is the basis for managing risk, allocating resources, and understanding what needs to be done to help a child or a family. Assessing is where theory, evidence and professional judgement collide. Assessment in Child Care covers all aspects of how to assess, when to assess and what to assess.

It is divided into 22 chapters: six chapters analyse the Department of Health’s assessment framework. The others focus on areas relevant to students, practitioners and managers in the contemporary child care maelstrom. Chapters on assessing parenting capacity, disabled children and domestic violence are particularly useful.

Health and social care models of assessment dominate the book, and more on educational input into rounded assessments would have been helpful. This keeps up with trends in Whitehall towards a central role for education services in bringing together a range of children’s services into a more coherent local whole.

The strength of this book is in the range of perspectives about assessment theory and practice, which are supported by good evidence bases and interesting examples.

Anthony Douglas is director of social care and health, Suffolk Council and editor (with Terry Philpot) of Adoption: Changing Families, Changing Times (Routledge, 2002)

If you would like to order this book please call 020 8652 2043 or email

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