Residential assessment placements are offered on an 8 or 12 week basis, both of which can be extended if necessary. The residential assessment is an interactive, evidence based process which explores all aspects of an individual’s parenting capacity and area’s of a child’s developmental needs in accordance with the Framework for Assessment. Although standard models of assessment are used in every case, each family residing at Serendipity is treated equally.

Direct and indirect CCTV, audio and staff monitoring and observation takes place up to 24 hours per day.

In order to undertake a comprehensive and holistic assessment, Serendipity uses a variety of tools to inform the Framework for Assessment model, including:

  • Elements of the Parent Assessment Manual (PAMs) Dr Sue McGaw
  • ‘First Steps to Parenthood’ Dr Sadie Young
  • Elements of the NSPCC Alcohol, Childcare and Parenting Manual
  • Elements of the Freedom Project Intervention Model
  • Elements of the Webster-Stratton ‘Incredible Years’ Parent Programme
  • ‘Conducting Family Assessment’ Guidance (City of Salford Community and Social Services)
  • Graded Care Profile (GCP)

This is by no means an exhaustive list and we are constantly seeking to enhance our assessment practices, keeping abreast of current research and practice.

Objectives and Outcomes

Staying Safe

24 hour one to one monitoring of the family will ensure that the children are kept safe both during the day and at night.

Direct work will be completed with parents to assess attitudes and what they perceive as their role to be in keeping children safe. This will also explore practical skills for ensuring both physical and emotional safety.

We will explore and assess any domestic abuse within the relationship, which includes more subtle areas of control as well as any violence.

Serendipity is a safe environment and appropriate safety equipment is provided. The centre regularly undergoes fire safety checks and electrical tests.

Be Healthy

All residents are registered with a local doctor’s surgery who are aware of the particular needs of the families that are assessed. We have close links with local health visiting and midwifery services, with regular visits to the unit by NHS staff.

We explore with parents future contraceptive needs and support parents to access contraception whilst at Serendipity.

We have a programme in house to look at personal hygiene including dental care and work with parents to encourage good modelling of health care needs to their children.

Serendipity monitor families diets and give advice on healthy eating and the dietary needs of the children and adults. Communal meals and cooking sessions are used to assess parent’s ability to gain cooking skills and provide nutritionally balanced meals.

Parents knowledge of their children’s developmental needs are assessed and advice given where required.

Enjoy and Achieve

The parents will be supported to settle into Serendipity and engage with the assessment process. There are regular residents meetings where any general concerns can be discussed and individual feedback sessions to inform parents of how well the assessment is going and where concerns remain.

Parents are encouraged and shown how to interact and play with their children, which is assessed both directly in ‘stay and play’ sessions and also in indirect observations via the CCTV.

Serendipity hold a range of children’s toys and craft activities that parents can borrow to play with and stimulate their children.

Basic assessments of attachment are completed as part of the assessment.

Making a Positive Contribution

If age appropriate, children at Serendipity are enrolled in the local school and nursery group. Parents with younger children are encouraged to attend Sure Start.

Within the centre both adults and children’s views are sought about how the centre and the assessment process can be improved. Children participate through visual, child friendly tools that enable then to share their views.

Achieve Economic Well-being

Whilst at Serendipity parents who wish to return to work are supported to research and access safe and suitable child care for their children.

We have links with local adult education centres and residents are able to undertake adult literacy and numeracy whilst resident if they wish.

Where parents want to continue to work whilst being assessed Serendipity will do everything possible to tailor assessment sessions around working hours. It needs to be ensured however that there is a parent available at all time to care for the child and that the working parent’s absence from the assessment centre does not impact on the child.

Parents will be supported to claim relevant benefits.

Get in touch

If you still have questions or would like to enquire about availability, please get in touch:

Contact us for availability