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How to make a referral to WillisPalmer

To enable us to provide you with the correct expert who has the most relevant experience for the assessment or service you require please provide us with these few key points listed below. 

What type of assessment is required?

We provide a variety of assessments including parenting, SGO, Connected Person’s, Adoption, Fostering, Sibling, International, Cognitive, Psychological, Psychiatric, Forensic Risk, private law reports, as well as multi-disciplinary assessments including our Multi-disciplinary Family Assessment Service  and Systemic Family Assessment.

Many of our experts have a specific area of expertise and therefore, we need to know what kind of assessment is required in order for us to provide you with CVs of experts with the most relevant skills and experience.

Who is being assessed, e.g. mother, father, grandparent etc?

An explanatory paragraph outlining the case including who is being assessed is important, alongside the type of assessment you require.

Whether an interpreter is required

WillisPalmer experts are happy to work alongside an interpreter and we need to be aware whether an interpreter is required in case additional time needs to be factored in for the assessment.

Where the person/people being assessed live (town will suffice)

WillisPalmer has a national network of experts, many of whom are happy to travel to carry out assessments, but naturally, if there is an expert who is close geographically to the person being assessed and who has the right kind of experience, it makes good sense for us to propose that expert for the assessment. This enables us to reduce the amount of time spent travelling which can keep costs down and is beneficial to the environment.

How many children are involved in the matter, their ages, where they live  (town will suffice) and who they live with

It is essential that we have the full facts of the case and the people involved in order for us to take into account the situation of, for example, siblings and where contact may take place. This type of information allows us to provide a clear brief to our experts and ensures they have the specific experience required for the assessment, and they are able to make an informed decision about the work that will be required.  In accordance with data protection rules, we are not asking for names or identifying features at this stage, we are simply aiming to ascertain a clear outline of the case to ensure we provide the most appropriate service, with the most experienced expert to meet your needs and enable us to provide the high standards that you will have come to expect from WillisPalmer.

What the concerns are/reason for the assessment and whether the assessment is court directed

Knowing some background information about the concerns helps us identify an expert who has the relevant skills and experience for the case, for example, in the area of learning disability, mental health, or domestic abuse. It is also helpful for us to know whether the assessment is being commissioned on behalf of a local authority or whether an independent expert report has been specifically commissioned by the court, this enables our experts can be clear about their remit.

Future court dates if listed, in particular any final hearing date

Key dates, in particular any final hearing dates, should be specified at the outset to ensure that we can factor those dates in when checking the availability of relevant experts. While some experts may have availability for the completion of the assessment, if they are unavailable for specific court dates, to instruct them would be futile. Therefore, we ask for specific dates to be outlined from the outset to ensure the availability for the duration of the case from our experts.

Referral information example:

We are a local authority and need a specialist assessment of a parent with learning disabilities, either PAMS or ParentAssess.

Mum has significant learning disabilities and was coping while raising her son aged 4yrs old with her partner, who also has mild learning disabilities. The couple have since ended their relationship and mum is struggling to manage on her own. Father currently not involved. The school has made complaints about child’s school attendance and when he is in school, he is often arriving late.

Specialist parental assessment required, taking into account mum’s learning disabilities. Mum lives in Colchester. Assessment needs to gauge whether mum has capacity to raise child and explore options for support network in father’s absence.

Mum is English speaking, no interpreter required. Child is aged 4yrs and has no siblings. Mum and son live together in Colchester. Since separation from father, there are no other people living in family home.

The court is not involved at this point. We would require an expert to undertake the work starting as soon as possible.

Should you have any questions about making a referral, please call the office on 01206 878178.

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