How does Lilias Graham Trust work to help you and your children?
Assessment and Support
LGT uses a combination of assessment and support to help families meet their children’s needs.
Assessment and support also take place through play therapy. Play therapy is a good way to quickly find out about children’s emotional, social and learning needs and it can show how you can meet those needs. Play therapy is explained in more detail on a separate sheet.
What we mean by “Assessment” ?
Assessment is finding out what the situation really is. At LGT, assessment is about working out how you and your children cope in different situations and how you are able to meet your children’s needs. That’s why you will find yourself doing everything from playing games to shopping with your children when you are with us. Just as families are always changing and adapting to new situations, so Assessment never really stops – in fact you will probably still be assessing your own family long after your children have grown up!
Every family, parent and child, has strengths (the things they are already good at), and difficulties (the things they find harder). A good assessment will identify both the strengths you bring to your task as a parent and the difficulties you may have.
Lots of things can affect children and their parents, so an assessment may consider a wide range of factors to identify you and your children’s strengths and difficulties. Here are just some examples of the factors which may affect you and your child.
Before you come to LGT, you will have discussed which factors are the most important to you and your children. For instance, if one of them is “your child’s relationship with you”, then working on this will be a goal of your placement and we will concentrate on things that will help build that relationship.
What do we mean by Support?
Good parents are not born, they become good parents by learning and practicing. This is why assessment and support go together at LGT. We’ve already seen that an LGT assessment identifies the strengths and difficulties you have as a family. Support is about doing something to make things better. Staff will work alongside you to help build on your existing strengths and learn new approaches which help overcome the difficulties. It can be difficult to ask for support, but the staff’s role is to help you discover what works best for you and your child, and then put it into practice.
Summing up “assessment and support” …
Assessment happens while you are at LGT. This means we can give you clear ideas about changes you can make to meet your own and your children’s needs.
Support is offered to help you put these ideas into practice.
At the end of your placement at LGT, an assessment report will be written for you and your social worker. This describes the strengths you have, the difficulties you face and the progress you have made in meeting your children’s needs. You will have full access to this report and will have the chance to contribute to it.
The assessment report will help you discover what ongoing support (if any) you may need at home to make the best possible life for you and your children.
Planning and Reviewing Meetings
We want you to receive the best service at LGT. We also want you to feel that you are making real progress fast.
To make sure this happens, you, your Social Worker your LGT Keyworker and LGT Team Leader form a planning and review team who meet at regular intervals. You as a parent are the most important person at these meetings because no progress can be made without you.
There are three sorts of meeting:
1. Pre-placement visit – before you agree to come
This is to make sure you really want to come to LGT. You can see around and talk with key staff about the service we offer – can we help you achieve what you and your children need? You can then make a decision about whether it’s right for your family. Your social worker or other support person would normally be with you on this visit.
2. Family Agreement Meeting – one to four days after you start.
This is where we agree the goals of your placement. This means: 1. Agreeing with you and your social worker about why you have come to LGT at this stage in your family’s life; 2. Deciding what are the most important things to work on (the goals); 3. Making an action plan to work towards those goals for the first week (this says who’s doing what and when it should be done).
3. Review and Action Planning Meetings – once per week.
This is where we look at the last action plan, check on progress and make another action plan. The action plans keep us on track to achieve the goals.
All these meetings may sound scary. We hope you will discover that LGT meetings are a bit different. They are kept as relaxed and friendly as possible (tea and cakes are compulsory!) so as to make them helpful.
We have a target to get meeting minutes (the record of what was said) out to you and your social worker in 24 hours. That way, you can use the minute to help plan and check things are getting done as promised.
Don’t feel you need to wait for a meeting to discuss issues, ask for changes or celebrate success. You can speak with your key worker or any member of staff at any time.
What information do we keep and how can you see this?
You will normally have access to all the information which we hold about you. We believe it is vital that you know what information we have and can comment on it. Hopefully you will agree with what is written, but it is better that you disagree and we get the chance to discuss (and perhaps change) things than that we hide it from you. That way we can work together in an open way with no misunderstanding.
There are different sorts of information written down. These are held securely in a file which is locked away and usually also on a secure computer server.
Reports written by social workers and others. These help us understand you and your family and mean we are not “starting from scratch” (there’s no point in asking you lots of questions about things that are already known). If you disagree with what is in any of these reports, it’s important that we know, because otherwise, we will get it wrong too. The Family Agreement Meeting is a good place to get these differences ironed out.
Staff at LGT record what happens twice each day. These are known as contact records. A contact record will say what has taken place and will concentrate on the things that help with the assessment, show progress or indicate support needs. Contact records allow the different staff to see what has been happening so they can give you the right support. Case records are held on the secure LGT computer server and a printed copy is available to view in your file.
Minutes (a written account) of meetings will be in your file. These include Family Agreement Meeting and Review and Action Planning Meetings. These minutes should give you a clear picture of the progress you have made and the plan for what will happen next. You will receive copies of minutes and a copy will be held on the secure LGT computer server and in your file.
We will write a report at the end of your placement. It is always very useful to have your views in the report and we would like you to see the report and comment on it before it is submitted. Reports are held in your file and on the secure LGT computer server.
Who else gets to see the information written about you?
Sometimes information is given to us which we do not have authority to pass on. An example is the address of a carer who may prefer to keep their details private. We will say if there is information which we are not able to release.