At Jamma Umoja we provide an ‘Active Assessment’ in which we work alongside parents, offering guidance, modelling behaviour and supporting parents to reflect on their own background history of being parented. We help them to identify and understand patterns within their own childhood, which could potentially replay themselves in their current family.
The assessment process aims to work with families around a wide range of areas including:
Assisting them in understanding the concerns of the placing agency
To develop an awareness around what constitutes abuse and the impact this has had or might have in the future upon their child(ren).
How to develop more robust protective parenting strategies.
Establishing patterns of care which meet their child’s requirements.
To consider the parent’s capacity to meet their child’s needs in their entirety in the short and long term.
Observations of families are carried out on all appropriate physical care tasks initially, reducing these observations when and if it becomes apparent that the parents / caregivers are competent in these areas. For the first two weeks we provide escort monitoring services for families when out in the community. Escort monitoring is only lifted by mutual agreement with the local authority in line with our risk assessments.
As well as our day-to-day observations, much of our work focuses on in depth sessions with service users, group work, we place focus on trauma informed practice. We support service users to engage in the process of change in the best interests of their children, this includes supporting bonding and attachment between parent and child and vice versa.
Parents are expected to purchase their own food and prepare and cook meals for their own family. We support families to learn how to cook and learn about health and nutrition. The family has access to laundry facilities on site. There are no charges at the centre for service users.
The communal nature of the centre is designed to enable staff to see parents outside of their own living space mixing with other families. These observations enable workers to make an assessment of parents’ social skills, their capacity to engage with others and their ability to form appropriate boundaries.
These arrangements also offer an opportunity to assess a family’s capacity for social integration.
There are also arrangements in place with the local doctor’s surgery for all families to be registered. We have links with the local Health Visiting Team.
6 Week Assessments
These provide a prognostic view as to the likely outcome of assessment. At the six week stage we provide a recommendation and prognosis report. 6 week assessments can be tailored to the needs of the family and extended if required.
12 Week Parenting Assessments
This is our standard package assessment which includes regular reviews set out at the planning stage:
10 week recommendation
12 week conclusion
These assessments are designed to support families in the community to either reintegrate or keep families together with extra support and intervention required. We often tailor these assessments to support in complex and difficult family set ups. These assessments are commissioned when a residential assessment is not always possible, but the risks and needs remain high.
We conduct thorough risk assessments at pre placement and throughout the assessment process regularly updated. We also offer independent risk assessments as an additional service.
These vary in timescales depending on the instruction. We provide community assessments all over the UK and when required overseas. Community assessments generally include contacts, home visits and focused sessions with regular reviews and final or prognosis reports.
‘Parent Assessment Manual’ Assessments are also known as PAMS assessments and include assessment of:
child care and development
independent living skills
safety and hygiene
relationships and support
the impact of the environment and community on parenting.
When completing a PAMS assessment, we will look at the parents knowledge and quality of their parenting skills. By assessing all of these different areas of parenting, we gather evidence of how the family functions and the current ability of the parents pertaining to their parenting skills. The result is documented in evidence and knowledge-based reports. The reports come in two forms a six-week midway report by which we detail all the findings of the assessment to date and creating a bespoke teaching programme based upon the parenting deficits identified. At this stage we also make recommendations of the likely prognosis.
The teaching programmes identified provide the parent/parents with the best possible opportunity to benefit and learn from the areas identified. Following the targeted teaching we again readminister the PAMS worksheets and booklet to formulate a capacity update report. These findings are included in our final report and document the progress if any to date and the evidence of the capacity to change and ability to put into practice, consistently, the required parenting skills taking into account the timescales of the child.
These are included in our standard assessment, we also offer supervised contact as an external additional service that we facilitate in our contact rooms, one of which is a sensory room.
Jamma Umoja undertake Parent Assess assessments. Parent Assess is a framework developed in 2016 for assessing parents who have learning disabilities and other additional needs within childcare proceedings. It addresses both the practical and emotional aspects of parenting and seeks to identify both the strengths and concerns.
16 Week Assessments
Jamma Umoja conduct 16-week assessments, in line with the with the Department of Health’s good practice guidelines, Working with Parents with a Learning Disability (DoH, 2007, updated 2021). 16-week assessments are recommended when we are conducting a PAMS or Parent Assess assessment, to ensure we are working within best practice guidelines for all families with disabilities and other additional needs.