As you will be aware, the health and social care sector (like others) is working hard to maintain essential services in what are extremely challenging times. Whilst the manner in which many of us work is being adapted in line with current Government and Public Health England guidance, it is recognised that much of the work we undertake can’t simply just stop. So, there is a balance to be had between ensuring, as far as possible, the wellbeing of everyone (especially vulnerable people) and maintaining vital services. I am committed to maintaining as many of the services I provide throughout this period of uncertainty whilst acting responsibly to help ensure the safety of those I work with, vulnerable people and their carers.

To this end, until further notice, the following will apply:

Where possible, I will assess and consult people using non face-to-face methods such as Skype and telephone calls. Sometimes this is not possible and, in those situations, where safe to do so, I will continue with a face-to-face approach. If this is required, current Government guidelines will be followed. Whichever method will be adopted will depend entirely upon the nature and urgency of the work and will be discussed with the instructing party and care providers where applicable.

I wish you a safe and healthy time as we work together over the coming months,

Best Wishes, Gary.

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Tel: 0203 617 1255

Initial Family and Friends (Viability) Assessment

It is sometimes the case that children can’t remain living with their parents.  When this occurs, a suitable alternative is required and this is often in the form of adoptive or foster parents.  However, research has shown that children placed in kinship care (cared for by other family members) generally do as well, if not better, than children placed in foster care with an unrelated family.

An initial family and friends assessment, also known as a viability assessment, is a tool used by local authorities to assess whether family members should be further considered as kinship cares without having to undertake a more thorough assessment.  Once completed, the assessor will be in a position to conclude whether the family member is or isn’t suitable to be considered further as a kinship carer.  This might be just one or several family members.

To date, there are no minimum standards or guidelines for local authorities to use when completing initial family and friends assessments and a range of approaches are adopted.  I can be instructed by solicitors to complete an initial family and friends assessment where one hasn’t been completed or where the outcome of an existing assessment is called into question.

To ensure that a consistent and holistic assessment is completed, I use the assessment criteria set out by the Family Rights Group and adopt their good practice principles when completing viability assessments.

If you would like to discuss how I can assist further, please don’t hesitate to contact me.