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Use of Standardised Tests & Questionnaires

Holiday Inn Express, 196 High Street, Stratford, London, E15 2NE

In order to enhance and develop the assessment methodologies, approaches and practices, we should be expanding the range of tools used. This one-day workshop offers practical hands-on training in Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaires and the Parenting Stress Index.

Course Information:

Use of standardised tests and questionnaires training

The social work profession does not have a history of using standardised tests as a part of assessments. Social workers tend to be reluctant to use these. However, their value has been demonstrated over the years by other professions, including use within research methods.

In order to enhance and develop the assessment methodologies, approaches and practices, we should be expanding the range of tools used. This workshop offers practical hands-on training in two useful tools.

Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire 

Many will recognise this but perhaps either never used it, used it rarely or question its value. However, the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaires [Department of Health 2000; Goodman 1997; Goodman et al 1998] can prove invaluable as part of an assessment These scales are a modification of the very widely used instruments to screen for emotional and behavioural difficulties in children and adolescents. The questionnaire incorporates five scales: pro-social, hyperactivity, emotional problems, conduct problems and peer problems.

Parenting Stress Index (PSI)

The PSI [Abidin 1995] is a self-report screening and diagnostic instrument that identifies stressful areas in parent-child interaction. It is standardised to be used with parents of children ranging in age from 1 month to 12 years.

This tool is administered to the parent and it measures child characteristics, parent characteristics, family context and situational/demographic life stress events which are facets of the parent-child system that have been identified as important. The PSI can be a particularly helpful measure for use in:

  • The early identification of dysfunctional parent-child systems
  • Intervention and treatment planning in high-stress areas
  • The assessment of child abuse risk
  • Forensic evaluation for decisions about the residence of a child.

The tool has been validated in transcultural research using diverse populations.

This workshop guides the participant from start to finish through the actual use of each tool using real-life examples.  The reporting of findings is also covered. The main training modality will be tutor-led teaching and material discussion.

The day will begin at 9.00am for registration and tea/coffee, with a prompt 9.30am start, and will end at approx 4.00pm.

A light lunch will be provided. Please advise of any allergies or dietary requirements of each individual when booking places on this course.

An electronic certificate of attendance will be provided to all attendees by email after attendance at the course. This course equates to 7 learning hours.

Your Trainer

Philip King

My social work career has always focused on work with children and families, although I have undertaken specialist training in mental health and learning disability.

I began my social work career in residential work moving quickly to the post of Deputy Officer in Charge of a large assessment unit. I qualified in 1980 and practiced as a social worker, then moving into management roles.

In 1984, I returned to direct practice by working as an independent social worker. This allowed me to work as a Children’s Guardian (then Guardian ad Litem). Within this role, I acted in an advisory capacity to national committees and as national trainer with regards to the development of the service. I also acted as an adviser to the Law Society on the development of the Children Panel for solicitors. Related to the latter, I was joint partner of a training agency that offered training to solicitors.

In 1998, I founded an independent social work agency (ISWA) with a partner which went on to grow into one of the largest and most successful agencies in the UK. This agency offered specialised risk assessments, fostering assessments, family group conferences, training and consultancy. In 2017, this agency merged with WillisPalmer where I remain as an Executive Consultant.


Holiday Inn Express

196 High Street, Stratford, London, E15 2NE

The Holiday Inn Express – Stratford is situated in the heart of East London, site of the Queen Elizabeth Park and just outside the congestion zone. Stratford has excellent transport links and the hotel is located only a short walk from the comprehensive London transport system, the Stratford rail and bus terminal, Javelin Train to St. Pancras in 7 minutes and the Channel Tunnel rail link. The heart of the City of London is only 10 minutes away.


Station Name: Stratford Regional & International. Distance: 0.3 MI/0.48 KM WEST to Hotel. Taxi Charge (one way): £5.00

Walking from Stratford station

Inside the station follow the signs for the exit to Stratford town centre. Once you’re outside, turn right and follow the High Street down until you see the Holiday Inn Express on your right.

Car Parking

The nearest car park is Stratford multi-storey car park, which is accessed from Great Eastern Road. The entrance is easy to miss so keep an eye out for Service Route 1 on your right hand side, and once you’ve left the Great Eastern Road turn left to enter the car park via the ramp.

There is alternative parking at Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centre and Morrisons supermarket on The Grove.

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