Assessment Guide

Initial Family and Friends Care Assessment: A good practice guide

Developed by Family Rights Group in partnership with an expert working group, February 2017

A good practice guide on initial family and friends care assessments has been launched by Family Rights Group. The guide is a response to the lack of any minimum standards as to how such assessments, commonly called viability assessments, are conducted. Viability assessment are increasingly being used by local authorities to decide whether a family member of friend might be a potentially realistic option to raise a child who cannot live safely with their parents.

The guide sets out best practice as to how viability assessments should be conducted. It lists what factors social workers conducting the assessment need to consider, including when undertaking assessments with family members overseas. It also includes research evidence, a schedule and example template and an information sheet for a family and friends carers.

The guide was instigated by Bridget Lindley, Family Rights Group’s Deputy Chief Executive and Principal Legal Adviser (until her death in March 2016) and drawn up by an expert working group. It is endorsed by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, Family Justice Council, Cafcass, Catch 22, Coram Baaf, Coram Chambers, Coram Children’s Legal Centre, Association of Lawyers for Children, Family Action, Family Rights Group, Grandparents Plus, Kinship Carers UK, Kinship Care Alliance, London Borough of Islington, Principal Social Work Network, The Fostering Network and The Kinship ‘Foster Carers’ Group.

Please click on the image to read the guide.

Viability Assessment guide cover