Each Spots & Arrows assessment report is critically examined through internal Peer Quality Review. This results in consistent, high-quality, and methodologically sound assessments – the foundation required for high-quality, confident decision making in complex circumstances.
Spots & Arrows provide assessments in the Family Court, child protection, out-of-home care, and Children’s Court arenas. Our methodologically robust and sound assessments are evidence-informed, with a focus on pragmatic, targeted and meaningful recommendations that can be used by referrers with confidence to inform their decision making.
Spots & Arrows assessments consider individuals in the context of their history, their present situation and their future. Our comprehensive, systems-based assessments are informed by file review, clinical interviews, observations, self-report, and information collected through the administration (when relevant) of measures that may assist in the assessment.
Family Assessments or Expert Reports
- Family Assessments or Expert Reports are designed to inform the decisions of Independent Children’s Lawyers (ICLs) and the Family Court about the child’s best interests in terms of their future care, welfare and developmental needs. These independent assessments are provided by our psychologists and social workers.
Individual Therapeutic Assessment and Recommendations (i-TAR)
- The i-TAR explores domains of a child’s development and wellbeing (e.g. social, emotional, behavioural, health/physical, educational/cognitive) and asks: what are the areas of strength and resilience, as well as needs and difficulties across domains? What resources are available in the child or young person’s care system to support development and wellbeing? What priorities can be targeted that are likely to hold reparative value for their traumatic experiences? Recommendations are designed to offer information that better links to trauma-informed case planning.
Parenting Capacity / Restoration
- The aim of our parenting capacity/restoration assessment is to identify the degree to which a parent, or parents, have the capacity to provide a safe, predictable, nurturing and connected care environment for their children in the context of those children’s specific strengths, needs and trauma experiences. The assessment provides analysis of historical and current contextual factors influencing parenting capacity; and identifies, where relevant, the support and intervention required to inform restoration planning and transitions.
Behaviour Support Assessment and Planning (R-BASS)
- Our Reparative Behaviour Assessment and Support Strategies (R-BASS) is specific in its scope as a functional behaviour assessment. The assessment focuses on 1-3 behaviours of concern and provides analysis regarding the underlying difficulties that may be driving the behaviours. The R-BASS develops targeted Positive Behaviour Support strategies that can be implemented within the child’s system of care to promote positive shifts in their lived experience and foster those elements that contribute toward overall resiliency. This can be informed by a precursor assessment like the i-TAR, Contact Assessment, Placement Review, Parenting Capacity or Guardianship Suitability Assessment.
- Assessing suitability for guardianship focuses on an individual child or young person’s strengths, needs and trauma experiences; and the prospective guardians’ capacity to provide a permanent, therapeutic care environment for children and young people that effectively promotes their safety, predictability, nurturing and connectedness. The assessment maintains a particular focus on their capacity to undertake the role of guardian without support and guidance from an agency, and in identifying specific recommendations that support transitioning toward guardianship or permanency.
Foster Care Authorisation and Review
- Carer authorisation assessments explore the capacity of prospective carers to provide safe, predictable, therapeutic and nurturing care for children and young people who have experienced abuse and neglect. The assessment considers the applicant/s’ capacity to provide care for children and young people with differing and complex needsin the context of either crisis, short-term, long-term and/or respite care.
- Carer Review explores the above domains in the context of carers’ growing experiences in providing care to children and young people who have experienced abuse and neglect, and aims to draw on these experiences to review matching considerations; and identify areas of competency, development and support to enable them to continue providing care.
Relative / Kinship Carer Authorisation and Review
- This assessment explores the capacity for prospective relative/kinship carers to provide safe, predictable, nurturing, therapeutic and connected care in the context of the children or young people’s trauma experiences, strengths and needs. Particular attention is paid to considering the unique context of family relationship dynamics and shared histories, grief and loss of family roles, learned stress and coping responses, and protectiveness, including exploration of the applicant’s understanding of the type of reparative parenting required to care for children and young people who have experienced abuse and neglect.
- This assessment broadly identifies the current strengths and needs for the child or young person, and considers the degree to which their care environment promotes factors that are critical to therapeutic care (i.e. a sense of safety, predictability, nurturing and connectedness). Recommendations are designed to offer information that lends itself to integration with therapeutically-informed case planning for children, and carer development for caregivers.
- The assessment focuses on what contact arrangements (including contact participants, duration, frequency and mode), will best support a child or young person’s life story, personal identity and sense of connection and belonging, with consideration to a child or young person’s age and development, and permanency goals. The assessment aims to also identify specific recommendations that can be used to inform contact plans and review.
- This focuses on outlining the specific schedule and approaches to supporting a child and young person’s transition (e.g. placement change, transition from care), and their key support and/or intervention needs. This can provide a pragmatic, achievable plan that can be informed by a comprehensive precursor assessment like a Parenting Capacity, Placement Review or i-TAR.
- Spots & Arrows is flexible and able to design standalone assessments, or a combination of assessments that meet the needs of children and young people in the context of the child protection or out-of-home care system. Contact our team to discuss your specific needs.
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