Assessing the needs of children in situations of parental mental ill health – 2 days


This course is designed to assist practitioners in their assessments of children’s needs where one or more parent has a mental illness. The training recognises the intricate interplay between parental mental illness, parenting tasks and the developmental needs of children. Using an understanding of family systems, the course is focused on helping practitioners to carry out assessments that address the needs of children and work effectively with the multi-agency network to meet the needs of their mentally ill parents. The course draws on a range of research material and uses the model for assessment set out in:

  • Crossing Bridges.  Training resources for working with mentally ill parents and their children.  Department of Health. (1998)
  • Falcov, A (2012) The Family Model Handbook . Brighton: Pavilion

Course aim:

To provide participants with an opportunity to develop a critical understanding of the potential impact of parents/carers mental ill health on children and work collaboratively with others to meet the needs of the child within the family environment.

Course outcomes:

Participants will be offered the opportunity to:

  • Discuss how mental illness can affect parenting capacity and children’s development.
  • Understand how to use an ecological model of assessment in order to identify the interaction between the needs of children and their parents.
  • Develop skills in carrying out assessments that maintain a focus on the needs of the child.
  • Explore roles, responsibilities and how to work collaboratively with the multi-agency network.
  • Discuss and consider research findings and learning from Serious Case Reviews.