1. Explain the factors that need to be taken into account when assessing development
When assessing a child/young person we must be careful to take in to account confidentiality before carrying out any observations. Within my setting, we have an Welcome pack (aka Induction Pack) with lots of forms for the parents to sign which gives us permission to observe them and the child/children with in the assessment centre. All of the confidential material surrounding the parents and children are locked away in a secure cabinet in the office so no unauthorised access is allowed. The only time confidential is breached is if the child is at risk and we only share this information with other authorised professionals. When carrying out observations either in the room or via camera we have to take the Childs wishes and feelings in to consideration, if the child is at real risk we stay present but if they child clearly doesn’t want you there we must leave the room. For example, we had a family with a toddler and baby and during the night when mum fed the baby we were present in the room, but often having this person in the room woke the toddler and caused him unnecessary upset so instead watched intensely via the CCTV. When we assess a child we must take account of their ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds as these can play an important role in how the child acts and the understanding of the words being used.
Disability or specific requirements need to be taken in to account when carrying out any assessment/observation of a child can be underestimated and the observations will be unreliable. In my setting we receive all the information of each family from the Local Authority who have referred them to us, its vital we receive relevant and up to date information so we know exactly what the concerns are and get an accurate picture of the Childs development, if this information was incorrect it could harm the child’s development. Avoiding bias is important in my role, we must remain completely objective, we are not here to judge our families, we observe and document facts of every aspect of their day to day lives they live out with in the assessment centre, our focus is the child and our main responsibility is there safety. We have a large staff team who all individually work with each family and we each document what we see, then once social workers and assistants have read the assessment forms, patterns can emerge.