Assessment in Kinship Care

 Edited by Cath Talbot and Martin C Calder,
 Russell House Publishing
 ISBN 1903855861,


Directed at government and anyone involved in kinship care, this book looks at assessment tools, writes  Sarah Welsh.

The editors examine the meaning of kinship care together with issues such as family contact, domestic violence, substance misuse and child abuse within intergenerational networks.

They then propose a much needed assessment framework specifically for kinship care. This family-centred framework is more responsive to the particular circumstances and needs of each kinship placement than the British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering F1 form and the government’s assessment framework.

This book also presents interesting information about the difference the Human Rights Act 1998 has made to considering grandparents and other family member in court proceedings, andevidence which could be used by workers looking at a child’s care options. I also discovered tools and ideas that I could use as an assessor of “stranger” foster carers.

The book left me with two questions. First, should assessments be conducted by workers initially involved with the child and their family, or a team focused upon kinship care assessment and support, which may also include other professionals? And second, who should approve these assessments?

Nonetheless, this book provides a timely contribution to social work practice.

Sarah Welsh is an independent social worker and runs the social care resource

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