PAMs Assessment

Time Limited. Cost Effective. Evidence-Based. Available to local authorities and the courts.

WillisPalmer is proud to be a genuinely multi-disciplinary organisation offering PAMs assessments to local authorities and the courts with highly experienced and trained teams of expert social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists and family support workers.

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

Multi-Disciplinary PAMs Assessment Service

Our Multi-Disciplinary PAMs 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 from a local authority or a court,  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 the eight weeks, a report is produced with advice and recommendations for the local authority.

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 our model work?

The skills of a broad range of highly experienced professionals 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-week time-frame during which the families are observed during their every day 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.

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 families are experiencing problems with 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

Basic Process - Preparation

  1. The local authority refers the child.
  2. WillisPalmer and the local authority hold a planning meeting that includes the child’s Independent Reviewing Officer.
  3. The WillisPalmer multi-disciplinary core team of a social worker, psychologist and family support workers (FSW) work together to produce a costed plan for the local authority's approval.
  4. Once approved, WillisPalmer begins a consultation process with parents, siblings, other family and current carers.
  5. Parents, the local authority and WillisPalmer agree the restoration plan.
  6. Parents and WillisPalmer consult the child and factor the child’s wishes and feelings into the plan.

Basic Process - Intervention

  1. The social worker co-ordinates the service, the psychologist provides a baseline and tests for change, and the FSW provides support to the family particularly in relation to the identified pinch points in relationships.
  2. The service incorporates solution-focused interventions, the theories of change model, Kolb’s learning styles, Baumrind’s parenting styles and, where very young children are concerned, notions of reciprocity, attunement and attachment.
  3. The FSW support may be required to start at a high level initially to:
    • a) Ensure the protection of the child.
    • b) Gather detailed information about family functioning through observations.
    • c) Help identify whether change has taken place.
    • d) Help the family overcome initial challenges.

However, as family relationships adjust, the family support worker/s' involvement should reduce.

About WillisPalmer

Over the past 16 years, WillisPalmer has been commissioned by over 40 local authorities in the UK and by over 250 firms of solicitors. We have also undertaken work for four different IFAs, residential establishments, schools and one university.

We currently feature on numerous framework contracts undertaking the whole range of assessment services, quality assurance functions and training.

Contact Our Expert Team 
Send us a message or give us a call on 01206 878178

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