Refusing a Psychological Assessment

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Refusing a Psychological Assessment

Post by concernedfather » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:12 am

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Last edited by concernedfather on Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Refusing a Psychological Assessment

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:24 pm

Hi again concernedfather

As I said on your other thread, my advice would be to co-operate with a psychological assessment if this is requested.

You are right to say that you have every right to refuse. If you do this, however, Children’s Services are likely to view this very negatively and increase their concerns.

It would be advisable, rather than simply refusing, to be clear about why you feel this is not necessary, what you are doing instead that provides the information that Children’s Services require (i.e. your engagement with other organisations) and ask the social worker to be clear about what the implications would be if you declined to have the assessment.

I would also advise you to discuss this fully with your solicitor before making a final decision.

If care proceedings are issued, the court might order a psychological assessment. Again, you cannot be forced to engage in an assessment, even if instructed by the court. Clearly, however, the implications of not engaging if the court has requested this would be even more severe.

Take care,

FRG Adviser

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Re: Refusing a Psychological Assessment

Post by littlemiss83 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:27 pm


I had a psychiatric assessment during care proceedings. In my case, the local authority were heavily relying on mental health as grounds for concerns, as I had suffered moderate depression in the past. My mental health was not bad enough to be any concern to the doctors who had treated me, and all were very supportive towards me, and adamant that they did not feel this was a risk to my baby as things were managable.

I also had an independent assessment during care proceedings which was very positive. The psychiatrist disagreed with many of the "possible concerns" held by the local authority, and concluded that as long as I lived close to my family and had adequate support, then I would be able to care for my baby. However this positive assessment did not satisfy the local authority and they maintained their concerns. It seems like they don't want to listen to anything positive or any professional who does not agree with them. It was not enough for them to change their grounds and they still maintained their concerns, and placed my baby with my family.

Hope things turn out ok for you, thanks

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Re: Refusing a Psychological Assessment

Post by Ausgegeben » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:41 am

What are the implications if you are ordered to have one and still refuse to cooperate? Especially if you have agreed to the child not being returned to you already - hence there is no point in it but for the LA to impose mental cruelty on you?

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: Refusing a Psychological Assessment

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:53 pm

Dear Ausgegeben

Thank you for for your post. I am sorry to hear that you are going through a very difficult time and that you are unhappy with how children’s services are working with you.

You haven’t stated if you are involved in care proceedings about your child or if your child has a child protection plan. However, you refer to being ‘ordered’ to have a psychological assessment so I am guessing that you are going through care proceedings and that a court has directed this. In this case, your solicitor is the best person to speak to if you are unsure about whether or not to agree to a psychological assessment as they will understand your child’s case and your situation and will be able to explain why this has been directed by the court. They can also show you the letter of instruction to the psychologist and go through this thoroughly with you; you could use this opportunity to ask any questions or discuss your concerns.

If you are not involved in a court process it is just as important that you understand why you are being asked to have a psychological assessment so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to agree to it. Make sure you understand what the concerns are that have resulted in professionals recommending this and ask your child’s social worker to clarify this for you, in writing.

Although you have already agreed that your child will not return to you the psychological assessment may also impact on decisions about contact with your child so do consider this too when making up your mind.

In most cases it will be best to cooperate with the psychological assessment as a refusal will probably be interpreted negatively and may mean that concerns persist as questions about your wellbeing and parenting capacity may be unanswered.

You do of course have every right to make your own decision including choosing to refuse; the assessment cannot be imposed on you.

If you decide not to have the psychological assessment then it is important that you explain why and put forward suggestions as to how you can answer or address the professionals’ concerns instead e.g. if you are working with other services or taking courses to promote your parenting or help with your own needs.

However if you are going through a court case about your child the court may take the view that only a specialist assessment by an expert will provide the information that they need to make decisions about your child's future. In this case, it will always be best to discuss the situation fully with your solicitor before you make a final decision.

I hope that this is helpful.

Best wishes.


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Re: Refusing a Psychological Assessment

Post by NP123 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:17 pm

Hi little miss 83 I have been asked to do a phyciatric assesment I'm in care proceedings its a very stresfull time and not in a good place at all I am so scared about having the assesment done because I have been told it could backfire and loose the case of me going to a placement with my son, I do have a choice as to whether I have it done or not but if I don't have it done they will think I'm putting my needs before my son also they will think I'm not working with them. What sort of questions does the phycatrist ask? And is more emotional well being or mental health? Would be great to hear back from you thanks.

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