Core Assessment Record
Core Assessment Record records the key information gathered
by social work practitioners during a core assessment. A
core assessment is defined as an in depth assessment which
addresses the central or most important aspects of the needs
of a child and the capacity of his or her parents or caregivers
to respond appropriately to these needs within the wider
family and community context.
The time scale for core assessments in The Government's
Objectives for Children's Social Services (1999) gives
a maximum of thirty-five working days for their completion.
Using the Core Assessment Record
Although a core assessment is led by social services, it
will invariably involve other agencies or independent professionals
who will either provide information they hold about the
child or parents, contribute specialist knowledge or advice
to social services or undertake specialist assessments.
This, combined with the information that will be gathered
from the family, means that a core assessment will produce
a large amount of information.
The Core Assessment Record is a tool to assist practitioners
in systematically recording the key information gathered
during a core assessment. It should not be used as
a questionnaire. The left hand side of the page throughout
most of the Core Assessment Record highlights key areas
for practitioners to consider in relation to the Child's
Developmental Needs, Parents'/Carers' Capacities to Respond
Appropriately to the Child's Needs and Family and Environmental
Factors. This information is gathered through work with
the family and from other key individuals and agencies and
summarised in the Core Assessment Record.
The Core Assessment Record is not intended to act as a
running record of the core assessment process, in which
the detail of every interview and discussion is recorded.
Rather it is intended to act as a summary of the key information
gathered. It is important, therefore, that the Core Assessment
is carefully cross-referenced with other information for
example, reports from other professionals and key documents
in the record to avoid or minimise duplication.
An assessment is more than information gathering, and the
Core Assessment Record provides a structure to analyse the
information collected during the assessment process. The
information is used to make professional judgements about
the child's needs within their family and wider environmental
context and to decide on the content a plan to safeguard
and promote the child or young person's welfare. The objectives
specified in the plan should be Specific, Measurable,
Achievable, Related to the assessment and
have a clear Time scale for completion. The progress
made against each objective is then reviewed with the child
and family and other key individuals and agencies at specified
The Core Assessment Record is intended to support work
with children, families and other agencies. The completed
Core Assessment should be shared with the young person and
relevant family members and their views of the assessment
The plan should be developed in partnership with the child/young
person, family and other key individuals and agencies building
on the strengths identified during the assessment.
Key records index