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Multi-Disciplinary Family Assessment Service

Providing an alternative to costly residential assessments, working with families in their own home

WillisPalmer is proud to be a genuinely multi-disciplinary organisation with a network of highly experienced and trained expert social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists and family support workers.

With 18 years’ experience in the field, WillisPalmer is ideally placed to offer multi-disciplinary assessments and services to local authorities, courts and independent organisations.

Our multi-disciplinary approach proves timely, prevents delay and is cost-effective. Our assessments can also be tailored to your needs.

Multi-Disciplinary Family Assessment Service

WillisPalmer’s Multi-Disciplinary Family Assessment service is a prime example of our professionals working together to address complex problems and keep families together where possible and safe to do so. Following a referral, WillisPalmer's multi-disciplinary team - which can comprise social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists or family support workers depending on need and the problems presented - work together to assess the family and their parenting capacity during an eight-week period. At the end of eight-10 weeks, a quality assured, evidence-based report is produced with advice and recommendations for the court.

Our unique, genuinely multi-disciplinary approach to the welfare of children and families, aims to keep families together, safely, when children are on the edge of care. By working together as a team alongside families in their own homes, the multi-disciplinary family assessment model has proved to be cost-effective and the best outcomes for children are achieved within an eight-week time scale, reducing the time that professionals spend with families as well as resources and reducing the length of time of uncertainty for children and families.

How does the MFA model work?

The skills of a broad range of highly experienced experts are combined to offer a bespoke assessment of a family. The team examines the complex interpersonal relationships between family members to address any issues and ensure the best outcomes for children. Led by the Independent Social Worker, the entire assessment - including the final report with recommendations - is completed within an eight-10 week time-frame during which the families are observed during their everyday routines and high levels of intervention are used.

Depending on the level of risk, 24-hour monitoring can be put in place through the use of trained family support workers.

The model is dynamic in nature, and because of its flexibility can be used in multiple ways offering an assessment process that is bespoke to the needs of the individual family.

The co-authored final report is produced by the assessment team after eight weeks. The report will be evidence based with clear recommendations and conclusions. It will also be scrutinised by WillisPalmer’s robust quality assurance process.

Benefits of MFA

  • Multi-disciplinary assessments mean families and children are prevented from repeatedly explaining their circumstances to a range of professionals over a lengthy period of time.
  • Timely – eight-10 weeks from instruction to report including recommendations.
  • Children are placed at the heart of the intervention.
  • Assessments are carried out in the family home where families are most at ease and also avoiding costly residential assessments.
  • Family support workers are utilised when there are child protection concerns providing 24/7 support where necessary.
  • Our experts have a broad range of skills, experience and expertise.
  • All reports are subject to our robust quality assurance process.
  • Bespoke assessment.
  • WillisPalmer has been providing multi-disciplinary services for 18 years and has a strong reputation for high standards and quality reports.

Who is this model applicable to?

Local authorities may wish to use the Multi-Disciplinary Family Assessment model when addressing cases where families are experiencing difficulties and children may be on the edge of care.

This may include:

  • Families living with the 'toxic trio' where there is evidence of mental health problems, substance misuse and domestic abuse.
  • Parental mental health problems.
  • Parental substance misuse problems.
  • Neglect.
  • Child mental health problems or behavioural difficulties/conduct disorders.
  • Families experiencing domestic abuse.
  • Emotional or physical abuse.
  • Cases involving gangs or county lines drugs offending.
  • Children caught up in the criminal justice system.
  • Children absconding from education.
  • Children at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation.
  • Parental learning disability.

Equally, families may be experiencing a number of difficulties and require intervention to address these. Each assessment is bespoke according to the family's needs and the difficulties they are experiencing.

What people say about our services

While we are proud to provide unique services, don't take our word for it. See what a team manager had to say about the assessment.

“I hereby confirm that the service provided by WillisPalmer has been nothing less than excellent. Communication has been prompt and efficient, with phone calls when necessary. We as an organisation would most certainly continue to use the services provided by WillisPalmer when needed.”

L.E., Team Manager

Contact details

For more information about our new innovative SFA model, please contact our Head of Services Dave Wareham or Head of Practice Lucy Hopkins who can answer any questions you may have relating to the service.

Dave Wareham 01206 878169

Lucy Hopkins 01208 878173

Working Together For Children

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