In into one assessment. The new single assessment forms

In
2011 eight local authorities participated in a test recommended by the Monroe
review of child protection. The aim was to establish if a more flexible
assessment practice would be beneficial local authorities. The current
two-stage assessment process would be moulded into one assessment. The new
single assessment forms would still incorporate the framework for assessment
for children in need and their families however, it would allow practitioners
the ability to use professional judgement about what is needed should be
recorded. One of the main benefits of the trial was the flexibility of
statutory deadlines for work.

Monroe
review of child protection recommended that the government should review the
statutory guidelines for working together to Safeguard children and the
framework for assessment of children in need and their families. The new pilots
assessments introduced variable timescales to the statutory guidelines. Munro
recommended that children under section 47 enquiry should be seen on the same
day as the referral. All within four days of case allocation

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the
conclusion of the trial showed social workers felt that they were able to
complete meaningful assessments of families they were able to carry out
additional home visits when required this reduced pressure on social workers
and allow them more time to complete community work. The majority of social
workers involved in the trial welcomed the new single assessment as they felt
they were able to produce more quality assessments using their professional
skills. It was felt returning back to the statutory guidelines on time limits
to complete assessments would be taking a step back. It is felt that without
time limits and deadlines were could not be completed. Therefore is highlighted
that flexibility around time limits should be used to improve the quality of
work and enable the worker to gauge better and deeper understanding of the
complexities of cases and not used to postpone work.