Social Work Essay

It is important here to highlight that Sabina was a ‘Statemented’ child with special educational needs.   She has been diagnosed as having moderate learning disabilities when she was eight years of age.

The case was allocated to me to undertake an assessment of her needs using the Department of Health’s Assessment Framework (DOH AF) (DOH, 2000).   The DOH AF was developed to provide a systematic approach to undertaking assessments with children and their families.   Upon analysing information outlined in the referral form and discussions with relevant professionals, it was clear that ‘Sabina’ fulfilled the criteria of a ‘Child in Need’ under S.17 of the Children Act 1989.   After a discussion with my line manager it was agreed that I undertake an Assessment of Sabina’s needs in order to promote and safeguard her wellbeing.   Given that there were no apparent concerns about ‘Sabina’s’ wellbeing at home (DOH, 1999: paragraph 5.6), it was decided that I would involve her family fully within the process.
I viewed the start of the assessment as the beginning of the direct work process with ‘Sabina’.   Therefore it was important to plan the assessment process as Aldgate and Simmond (1988) pp.8 point out, “Direct work cannot be successfully done in a vacuum. It is something that needs to be planned and co-ordinated in relation to the overall plan for the child and in co-operation with other significant adults in the child’s life.” Given the difficulties faced by ‘Sabina’, it was paramount to involve the family in the direct work process.   This required developing a working relationship with family members which can be difficult to foster at times.   Children Act Now-message from research indicated that "Parents feel powerless and they are under pressure to comply…." DOH (2001) pp.71.   From the outset I recognised the power imbalance between myself and the family. Research studies state that attempts to deny this reality would be seen as patronising to the parents, DOH...