PAMS Assessment

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DIA97
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Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:12 am

PAMS Assessment

Post by DIA97 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:16 pm

Hello does anyone know much about a PAMS Assessment? Because I am 28 weeks pregnant and our unborn baby is on child protection at the moment due to family history concerns because my dad wasn’t able to protect my little sister from my brother seriously harming her which resulted in my younger sisters and brother being put in Care and they have concerns about my brother being a really big risk to our baby because of what he did to my little sister and they also have concerns about me and my partners past arguments in our relationship which is all getting sorted out. Our social worker has said that she would like us to both do a PAMS Assessment which is some sort of parenting assessment and she hasn’t said much about it except that it’s a very basic assessment so I was just wondering if anyone knows more about it so I can know more about what to expect as me and my partner are first time parents and haven’t done these assessments before so any advice and information is very welcome.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: PAMS Assessment

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:38 pm

Dear DIA97

Welcome to the parents’ discussion board and thank you for your posts.

My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group.

I see from your post that your unborn baby is now on a child protection plan because of concerns children’s services have regarding historical issues in your family background as well as issues of domestic violence in your relationship with your partner. This is a very difficult time for you being pregnant and having the additional worry of children’s services involvement.

A copy of our advice sheet relating to Child protection procedures for your information.

It appears that you are at the moment working with children’s services but you have concerns about the assessment that the social worker has told you needs to be done. Unfortunately, the social worker has not given you a full explanation of the PAMS assessment that you have mentioned in your post. I think it is very important that you ask the social worker to explain to you properly what having a PAMS assessment means. He or she should ensure that you fully understand the process that you are expected to take part in.

As an explanation of what a PAMS assessment means, it refers to Parent Assessment Manual which is the tool used by social worker or other person carrying out the assessment uses where there are child protection concerns or the parent or parents have learning difficulty or other disability. You do not say whether you or your partner but you do then this tool would apply. The tool is to assess different aspects of the ability to parent a child safely and looks at different areas. The PAMS assessment tool helps the assessor techniques to be used if they are working with parents and families with a learning difficulty or disability. It is definitely more than a basic parenting assessment as it is a very in depth assessment which can take from 6 to 12 weeks.

You mention your brother and historical concerns about him but not what he actually did or whether you live in the same house which is the reason why children’s services are concerned about the might be risk to your baby.

In your post you also say that you have been to a pre-proceedings meeting and that means that you should have a solicitor who can also advise you about the PAMS assessment which the social worker has told you is going to be done. The pre-proceedings meeting should have given you details of what children’s services expect you to do to prevent them to going to court. A copy of advice sheet about Care (and related) proceedings

I am not sure of your age but I am including a link to our young parents website which you might find helpful if you are aged up to 30.

As you are already doing I suggest that you continue to work cooperatively with children’s service and engage with all that you have been asked to do.

If you would like to speak to an adviser you can telephone our free confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

DIA97
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:12 am

Re: PAMS Assessment

Post by DIA97 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:10 pm

Hello thank you for replying I am wondering since you said that the PAMS Assessment is meant for parents with learning disabilities which me and my partner don’t have any learning disabilities does that mean that our social worker can still ask us to do one by law or not? Me and my partner are very cooperative and will do anything they ask of us as we don’t want our baby taken from us but we’re just wondering if our social worker still has a right to ask us to do the PAM’S assessment even though we don’t have disabilities, thank you.

DIA97
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:12 am

Re: PAMS Assessment

Post by DIA97 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:12 pm

We also haven’t had our pre proceedings meeting yet but we will shortly

DIA97
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:12 am

Re: PAMS Assessment

Post by DIA97 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:17 pm

Hello also me and my bf are wondering if the parenting assessment will be done before or after our baby is born? If the PAM’S assessment is to be done after our baby is born, will they put him into care until we have done our assessment or do they not have a right to do that? Because me and my bf are very worried about it because we want to keep our baby and want a chance to parent him, we are doing everything they are asking us to do, we are fully cooperating with them and have told them that we will do anything we can to keep our baby, the social workers were concerned because my brother was living in my parents house with us because he ran away from his accommodation and his carers and came to my parents house and me and my bf were forced to live here with them because we got evicted from our previous home due to getting in debt, so I am waiting to be put into temporary accommodation arranged by my social worker because there is a risk that he could come back to my parents house at any time because he has been moved out of my parents house recently by his social worker so things are getting much better, the risks are lowering and they will get even lower when I have moved into my temporary accommodation which is far from the area I am living in now and I will not tell anyone where I am going to be living so that there is no risk at all of my brother ever finding out where I am so it should be safe for my baby when he is born as there will be no risk, I just need reassurance that they won’t take my baby away from me at birth as there is no need to, I want to make sure that my baby will stay with me whilst we do our parenting assessment as he will be safe from any harm in the new accommodation I will be placed at very soon. Our social worker has also asked us to do a cognitive assessment which I know nothing about except that it is to test your intelligence and determine whether or not you have any mental health issues which me and my bf think is completely unnecessary because we have never been diagnosed with any sort of mental problem or disabilities and have never suffered any difficulty with our mental state before so we don’t understand why they want us to do that, our pre proceedings meeting is in a couple of days so I really hope things go well, I am also concerned that my social worker said to me and my bf that she thinks I’m doing really well with the plan and working with her but she thinks that my bf isn’t working so well with her as I am and she said that she thinks that I have a good chance of keeping our baby without my bf because of his attitude towards her which I understand because my bf and my social worker always clash every time we all meet up, they always end up arguing so I am worried that in the pre proceedings meeting that they will say to parent my baby alone without my bf because I don’t want that to happen, I want us to be a family and my bf has changed a lot since I have been pregnant, I know that our domestic violence in the past wasn’t good but we haven’t had any arguments since April and my bf has changed a lot since then but he really needs to stop being so hostile towards our social worker if he wants to be involved, my social worker also said that my bf still has a chance to change his stance towards her so hopefully things go well in our pre proceedings meeting but what do you think will happen if they tell me in the pre proceedings meeting that they think it’s best for me to do this alone and I decide to give my bf a chance to change his attitude, do you think they will take it to court? I am sorry for the huge post but we are worried about all of this and need advice on what the best thing to do is for us to keep our baby, any advice is very welcome, thank you.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: PAMS Assessment

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:20 pm

DIA97 wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:10 pm
Hello thank you for replying I am wondering since you said that the PAMS Assessment is meant for parents with learning disabilities which me and my partner don’t have any learning disabilities does that mean that our social worker can still ask us to do one by law or not? Me and my partner are very cooperative and will do anything they ask of us as we don’t want our baby taken from us but we’re just wondering if our social worker still has a right to ask us to do the PAM’S assessment even though we don’t have disabilities, thank you.
Dear DAI97

Thank you for your further posts.

I am sorry if from my post you thought that a PAMS assessment was only for parents with a learning disability. A PAMS assessment is not only for parents with a disability although there are specific tools within it for dealing with parents who do have such disabilities. The information about disability was a just to give an indication that it covers this as it was not clear from your post whether this was the case.

It is important that you agree to take part in the assessment as this is a comprehensive of parenting and how you do on this will be important. Children’s services do have to assess your parenting to make a decision. PAMS assessments are done where there are child protection concerns and this the main reason.

My suggestion is that you should continue to engage positively with children’s services and continue to work with them.

As you are due to have your pre-proceedings meeting shortly your solicitor, who will attend the meeting with you will be able to give you more information and explain the procedures to you. Children’s services should make clear at the meeting anything that they are still concerned about and what they expect you and/or your partner to do; how long you will be given to do complete whatever you need to do. Your solicitor should be able to put forward proposals and challenge children’s services if he or she believes that what you are being asked to do within a given time is too much or put you in a position where it is not possible for you to do what is being asked.

I am sorry if you misunderstood the information given in my previous post but it was just to try and deal with possible scenarios. I hope this clarifies the position for you. Just to reiterate the PAMS assessment is a tool to assess parenting capacity in a very detailed way using this particular process to cover all aspects of parenting capacity and skills.

Should you wish to discuss your situation directly with an adviser, please telephone our free confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

I hope this clarifies matters for you and is helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

DIA97
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:12 am

Re: PAMS Assessment

Post by DIA97 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:43 am

Hello suzie

Thank you for your previous post. This is my update, I have had my pre proceedings meeting and it went well it was a very positive meeting, my social worker was saying really good things about me explaining that I completely understand all the risks and the plan that we have agreed on and that I have been cooperating really well, which is really good so now all I have to do is pass the parenting assessment and everything will be fine, do you know which areas of parenting they will be asking me in the assessment? Because I want to do as much research as I can to make sure I pass it, I really hope I pass the assessment, wish me luck!

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2148
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: PAMS Assessment

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:37 pm

DIA97 wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:17 pm
Hello also me and my bf are wondering if the parenting assessment will be done before or after our baby is born? If the PAM’S assessment is to be done after our baby is born, will they put him into care until we have done our assessment or do they not have a right to do that? Because me and my bf are very worried about it because we want to keep our baby and want a chance to parent him, we are doing everything they are asking us to do, we are fully cooperating with them and have told them that we will do anything we can to keep our baby, the social workers were concerned because my brother was living in my parents house with us because he ran away from his accommodation and his carers and came to my parents house and me and my bf were forced to live here with them because we got evicted from our previous home due to getting in debt, so I am waiting to be put into temporary accommodation arranged by my social worker because there is a risk that he could come back to my parents house at any time because he has been moved out of my parents house recently by his social worker so things are getting much better, the risks are lowering and they will get even lower when I have moved into my temporary accommodation which is far from the area I am living in now and I will not tell anyone where I am going to be living so that there is no risk at all of my brother ever finding out where I am so it should be safe for my baby when he is born as there will be no risk, I just need reassurance that they won’t take my baby away from me at birth as there is no need to, I want to make sure that my baby will stay with me whilst we do our parenting assessment as he will be safe from any harm in the new accommodation I will be placed at very soon. Our social worker has also asked us to do a cognitive assessment which I know nothing about except that it is to test your intelligence and determine whether or not you have any mental health issues which me and my bf think is completely unnecessary because we have never been diagnosed with any sort of mental problem or disabilities and have never suffered any difficulty with our mental state before so we don’t understand why they want us to do that, our pre proceedings meeting is in a couple of days so I really hope things go well, I am also concerned that my social worker said to me and my bf that she thinks I’m doing really well with the plan and working with her but she thinks that my bf isn’t working so well with her as I am and she said that she thinks that I have a good chance of keeping our baby without my bf because of his attitude towards her which I understand because my bf and my social worker always clash every time we all meet up, they always end up arguing so I am worried that in the pre proceedings meeting that they will say to parent my baby alone without my bf because I don’t want that to happen, I want us to be a family and my bf has changed a lot since I have been pregnant, I know that our domestic violence in the past wasn’t good but we haven’t had any arguments since April and my bf has changed a lot since then but he really needs to stop being so hostile towards our social worker if he wants to be involved, my social worker also said that my bf still has a chance to change his stance towards her so hopefully things go well in our pre proceedings meeting but what do you think will happen if they tell me in the pre proceedings meeting that they think it’s best for me to do this alone and I decide to give my bf a chance to change his attitude, do you think they will take it to court? I am sorry for the huge post but we are worried about all of this and need advice on what the best thing to do is for us to keep our baby, any advice is very welcome, thank you.
Dear DIA97

Thank you for your further post and for giving more information about your family situation.

You want to know if the parenting assessment will be done before or after your baby is born. I think it is more likely for the assessments to be done before the baby is born that way if there is any support that needs to be provided to you to care for the baby this can be put in place.

Just to clarify the position regarding the PAMS assessment this is, as I said before, a tool used by the social worker and it will involve you answering questions on different aspects of parenting your baby. For example it might ask questions about how you would manage your baby crying a lot; or if your baby is cold. The outcome of the PAMS assessment will feed into your parenting assessment, this means that the answers you give will indicate if you need additional help.

Although you have said that you and your boyfriend do not have any diagnosed learning disability or mental health issues, there appears to be concerns above cognitive ability. This relates to how you understand and process information, problem solving, verbal and mathematical ability, memory etc. This assessment is likely to help as well as specific support may be recommended if necessary.

You have placed a lot of emphasis in your post on the risk your brother might pose to your baby to the extent that you would not tell anyone where you move to. This might be of concern to children’s services as this would mean that you have no support network around to give you help. How old is your brother? It appears that he is still subject to a care order which suggests he is under 18.

I think the more concerning issue for you is the domestic violence that has taken place between you and your boyfriend. This will be of major concern to children’s services as it place your baby at risk if this happened when you are looking after your baby. What steps has your partner taken to address his behaviour. Has the social worker suggested any courses or programme that he can do to learn about his behaviour and the impact it has on others. He might want to make contact with Respect 0808 802 4040 which works with perpetrators of domestic violence. You can also access on our website information about domestic violence for mothers. There is also domestic violence information for fathers.

The other issue of concern is your boyfriend’s attitude. If he is being hostile to the social worker this does not mean that he is cooperating or working well with children’s services. He is also giving the impression that his aggressive behaviour has not really changed significantly and, as such, you and your baby remain at risk. It is really important that you understand that his behaviour can significantly affect the outcome for you and your baby. Whilst you want to be with your boyfriend to bring up your baby as a family, he really does have to change his attitude. He is not helping himself or you. The social worker has already suggested as you say that you have a better chance of keeping your baby on your own. This is something you may have to think about as if you insist on being with your boyfriend and he does not change his attitude then action could be taken and the plan could be for your baby to be cared for by someone else. I do not wish to frighten you but I think you should discuss this with your solicitor.

Your boyfriend should consider his position very seriously if he wishes to parent his child with you.

The best thing for you both to do is to continue working well with children’s services to show that you understand the concerns and are willing to cooperate to improve the situation so your baby will be kept safe in your care.

I do not know how old you are but you may fall within the remit of young parents so I am including a link to our young parents website . It will give you information about how best to work with the social worker and other professionals. The website is designed specifically for young parents so I hope you will find it helpful.

Your solicitor will be able to give you more advice about your situation as he or she will have more information from children’s services abot your case and the concerns they have.

Should you wish to speak to an adviser, please telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

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