Process of Assessment
Our assessment process is to understand our young people’s levels of need and to evaluate the progress that has been made over time as a result of our input and support.
In terms of evidencing the young person’s needs, the initial assessment will begin within 7 days of the young person arriving in the placement and will involve the detailed analysis of the attachment and well-being domains. Cognitive, academic or other functioning can be commissioned on a needs-led basis:
- Attachment profile
- Emotional well-being
- Cognitive abilities
- Academic abilities
The information provided in the assessment will be collated into a care plan report and together with the recommendations, will be fed back to the young person and the professionals involved in their care. The care plan and education plan will be reviewed on a monthly basis.
The initial assessment will involve the following specific steps:
- Obtaining a review of the young person’s history via a review of any documentation (e.g. previous reports and chronologies) and a discussion with the referrer, carers, and professionals involved with the child.
- The completion of the SDQ (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) by the young person, staff and teaching staff.
- The Beck Youth Inventories (BYI) is a self-report multi-assessment instrument.
- Trauma History Checklist & Interview
- Child PTSD Scale (CPSS)
- Complex Trauma Exposure Assessment
Cognitive and educational assessments
Children in care often present with a complex range of difficulties in more than one area of development. At QPC we believe that it is imperative that an assessment which brings together a range of professionals will significantly increase our understanding of our young people and provide guidance for how front line staff can offer the best-tailored interventions. This range of tests includes:
- A cognitive assessment will be conducted to determine the young person’s level of cognitive function. A typical cognitive assessment will involve the administration of the WISC-IV (Wechsler Intelligence Scale – 4th edition) or WRIT-5 (Wide Range Intelligence Test – 5th edition).
- An educational assessment will be conducted to determine the young person’s academic level in the following areas: Reading, Spelling, and Maths Skills. A typical educational assessment will involve the administration of the WRAT-4 (Wide Range Achievement Test – 4th edition).
At QPC we appreciate that due to a range of factors, such as repeated failure in the educational system, children in care can struggle to perform or engage with traditional psychometric assessments, which means that the profiles that emerge from these tests may not truly represent the abilities of this group of children.
It is for this reason that in addition to using traditional psychometric assessments, we also consider assessing our young people using Dynamic Assessment (DA), which analyses their learning potential rather than what they can and can’t do. By actively engaging the young person in the process of thinking, DA enables a cognitive and educational profile to be developed of the learning potential of the child. Recommendations from dynamic assessments can be generalised to all areas of a child’s life ranging from academic performance to social functioning.