Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 2B: Approach to multi-agency assessment in child protection 81 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 2.268 Key elements of the process are that: • particular behaviours that need to shift are defined • capacity to change is integrated within overall holistic assessment • parents or carers are assessed separately, but with attention to the dynamic between joint carers • barriers and facilitators affecting capacity to change and observable changes in behaviour are key sources of information • consideration is given to factors undermining change which are external to the child and family and require attention from a multi-agency partnership • the assessment considers whether parents can achieve change within the child’s timescale 2.269 Guidance on capacity to change assessment may provide purposeful structure in work following a Child Protection Planning Meeting (CPPM, as described in Part 3), by informing the choice of intervention, informing analysis of contact plans and assessing and planning protective placement, or reunification. Capacity to change is likely to be an essential component of assessment when the complexity and persistence of child protection concerns prompt consideration of parallel or concurrent planning alongside intensive time-limited efforts at reunification. 2.270 A practice insight on this topic has been drafted to illustrate and explain key practice considerations, offer a resource, prompt reflection and signpost selected sources. It can be found in the Practice Insights supporting document alongside this Guidance. 2.271 Specialist assessment. Where risk of harm relates to behaviours or needs that require specialist assessment and support, early consideration should be given to inviting these professional perspectives to assist inter-agency planning around the child. Specialist assessments and assessments commissioned of specialists, if required, should form a considered element of multi-agency assessment. A learning culture in child protection 2.272 Effective multi-agency assessment and planning is promoted by a learning culture open to concerns and oriented towards continual improvement in systems and practice. 2.273 Lived experience must be integral to learning. The table below was derived from the words of parents with learning disabilities who have had experience of child protection in Scotland. Advocacy services helped in distilling their messages about effective child protection assessment and action.