Creative Ideas for Assessing Vulnerable Children and Families


SKU: 9781849057035 Categories: , , ,

For the busy frontline practitioner with little time to plan ahead, this hands-on guide presents imaginative and unique methods to engage families and caregivers throughout the process of assessing vulnerable children.

Setting the context for each area of assessment, including strengths and resilience, risk and needs and the child’s lived experience, the book then describes a series of activities or creative techniques to engage young people and their caregivers within this area. It outlines the materials required, aims of the exercise and method. It includes ‘handy hints’ based upon practical experience, making it a quick go-to guide for every day practice.

It encourages practitioners to focus on building safety into relationships and to adapt their approach to take into account the impact of trauma and abuse on an individual’s capacity to engage and to communicate verbally.

Market: Social workers; student social workers; family support workers; residential care officers; Children’s CAFCASS guardian; independent reviewing officers; child protection chairs; school nurses, health visitors, counsellors, education staff and the police.


  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • 1. Building safety into the assessment process
  • 2. Communication and creativity
  • 3. Exploring Protective Factors – Strengths and Resilience
  • 4. Exploring and Understanding the Nature of Relationships
  • 5. Hearing the family stories
  • 6. Exploring Every Day Lived Experience
  • 7. Talking about a specific event or person
  • 8. What’s the problem? Exploring risks and needs
  • 9. Assessing Change Factors
  • References

Author Bio:

Katie Wrench is a qualified therapeutic social worker, art psychotherapist and foster carer.

Lesley Naylor is also an experienced therapeutic social worker and play therapist who facilitates a life story consultation clinic. Both authors work with children and young people who are fostered or adopted, provide specialist consultation and training to frontline social care practitioners and foster carers around life story work and are based in Leeds, UK.