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PAMS Assessment 

First Steps Fostering Girls
Parenting Assessment


​First Steps Fostering offer PAMs assessments, subject to availability.
First Steps Fostering are delighted to offer the completion of PAMs assessment alongside excellent placements. First Steps Fostering recognise the pressures on th
e Local authority to undertake robust assessments on family circumstances and needs. Where there are concerns that parents have a level of need that requires consideration, First Steps Fostering are proud to offer PAMs assessments completed by qualified practitioners. In addition, to the initial PAMs assessment. First Steps Fostering are delighted to offer teaching following the initial PAMs and re assessment. 
Based on the PAMS (Parenting Assessment Manual Software) model of intervention, a specially trained First Steps Fostering social worker undertakes an intensive assessment in the community (First Steps Fostering, parent and child placement).
The assessment considers over 80 areas of parenting which include parents’ ability to:
Provide Care and understand stages of development
Behaviour management
Recognising and responding to risk
Independent living skills
Safety and hygiene
Parents’ health
Childs health
Relationships and support networks
The impact of the environment and community on parenting.
Where a parent has their own level of need, learning difficulty or disability, a PAMS assessment provides techniques that the assessor should use when they are working with parents and families. Approaches that support parents in understanding what is being asked of them in the simplest form to promote equal opportunity.
When completing a PAMS assessment the assessor will look at the parents’ knowledge and quality of their parenting skills. By assessing all of these different areas of parenting, the assessing social worker forms a picture and gathers evidence of how the family functions and the quality of the parents’ parenting skills, that impacts of the care their child is likely to receive. This then offers insight into the child’s lived experiences and trajectory. The result is an evidence and knowledge-based report. 
Parenting Assessment Manual is a specialist framework that is designed to assess parents with a learning disability or additional challenges that impact on their parenting ability such as:

• Mental health
• Trauma
• Exploitation
• Domestic abuse
• Alcohol or drug misuse
• Offending

The assessment takes place over an extended period of 8 - 12 weeks as agreed by the Local Authority. Our intervention is interactive with a strong emphasis on education. A provision that can be offered to families whilst placed within a First Step Fostering placement. 
The assessments generally focus on the parent’s level of learning difficulty or specific additional needs. Through spending extended periods with the family, First Steps Fostering assessors are able to identify any gaps in parenting capacity and or understanding that is required to be bridged in a time frame conducive to their child/children. The provision of a Mid-Point Review between First Steps Fostering and the Local Authority, enables early indications around the trajectory of the assessment to be offered, enabling the Local Authority to consider their care plan for the child and additional intervention that may need to be implemented to support the child’s needs being met. This may consist of areas whereby actions should be taken to implement learning. Safeguarding concerns will be flagged immediately to promote the safety and wellbeing of the child. Utilising the services offered by First Steps Fostering enables assessment and delivery of intervention and oversight from a fully trained foster carer in a community setting.  
A full PAMs assessment is available which consists of an initial PAM’s assessment which will generate a teaching plan. The delivery of this teaching is offered by First Steps Fostering whilst the family remain in s First Step Fostering placement. 
An updating parenting assessment (PAMs) is also available upon request. It is encouraged that at the point of review, the Local Authority consider if this is required to ensure that this can be factored in to planned areas of work commissioned by the Local Authority and court mandated timescales. 


What the Local Authority can expect
  • Notice of request will need to be made to First Steps Fostering at the earliest point. The request will be considered and timetabled subject to availability. 

  • A planning meeting will be convened between First Steps Fostering and the Local authority to discuss the assessment plan, considering the needs of the parents and concerns held by the Local Authority. Timescales of filing the assessment will need to be confirmed. 

  • Within 5 working days, a PAMS assessment plan will be devised and considered by the Local authority prior to sessions being commenced. 

  • A weekly synopsis will be provided to the Local authority to ensure consistent oversight of the assessment being undertaken. 

  • A meeting will be convened Mid-way of the assessment between the Local Authority and First Steps Fostering to discuss the trajectory of the assessment. It is encouraged that re assessment and the potential learning plan and provision is considered by the Local Authority.

  • The final review meeting will be held between the Local Authority and First Steps Fostering to discuss the outcome of the assessment completed.  A meeting will be held with the parents whereby the assessor will discuss with parents, the outcome of the assessment completed

Partnership working will be upheld by First Steps Fostering throughout the duration of both the placement and assessment process to ensure family focussed practice, ensure concerns are raised and addressed at the earliest opportunity, with the safety of the child be paramount.  

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