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  1. Aiming for Positive Outcomes for Children from First Contact to Closure Sue Tolley, Barnardos Bronwen Elliott, Good Praxis P/L

  2. Positive Outcomes for Children • Engaging the parent is not enough • Beyond ‘trickle down’ • Not allowing child and family to drift

  3. It doesn’t matter how good the assessment is, the family has to feel that our help will make a difference.

  4. The assessment is for us - the family already knows what their problems are.

  5. SCARF Development • From UK Children in Need • Shared philosophy - respectful engagement, enhanced child outcomes • Four years local development • Development continuing

  6. SCARF Tools • Information Management • Assessment (Basic and Specialised) • Planning • Review

  7. Input from local staff and families led to: • More explicit identification of strengths • Simpler language • Shorter process • Expanded review tools • Better fit of assessment process to real life

  8. Challenges on the way to positive outcomes • Families can’t wait for an assessment before they get help • ‘Ongoing assessment’ • Comprehensive v overwhelming case plans • Diminishing returns - gap between paper work and practice • Drifting rather than closing

  9. Addressing Challenges • Assessment and action in parallel • Child and Family Assessment as ‘snapshot’ • Clear links between assessment and action • Setting priorities and reviewing them with families, acknowledging their concerns • Asking ‘what does new information mean?’ • Regularly reviewing purpose of involvement and asking ‘is this family ready to move forward on their own?’

  10. Implications for staff • Need to understand the rationale for focus on child outcomes, not just which tool to use • May need training in how to name concerns respectfully with families • Support for ongoing skills development - role of on-line learning

  11. Practice that supports positive outcomes for children • Transparency • Acknowledging and responding to the family’s concerns • Asking ‘how does this make a difference for the child?

  12. For More Information on SCARF www.scarf.org.au email info@scarf.org.au