SWA Reverse Residential Assessments


Reverse Residential Assessments


Here at CF Social Work we are currently working on number of new ideas to help families and children in need, these ideas include additional strategic Social Work Assistant teams and a comprehensive educational programme.

It was recently brought to my attention that senior CF Social Work staff members have been pioneers in the world of Social Work for many years.

I am currently working on a Reverse Residential Assessment with one of our Independent Social Workers and three members of our Social Work Assistant team; basically, we are ensuring a young couple can cope with the parental demands of their new born baby on a 24/7 basis.

However, if we go back to 1995 this scenario was unheard of because the concept of Reverse Residential Assessments was yet to be developed.

Enter CF Social Work’s Head of Service Development and an excellent idea.

Traditional Residential Assessments have been around for many years and can involve bringing 2 or 3 families together in a new environment, often in a large property with shared facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms; the families in question are then assessed by professionals on a number of aspects.

The reasons families are involved in care proceedings and undergoing assessments are varied, they could include:

· Domestic Violence
· Alcohol Abuse
· Drug Abuse
· Mental Health issues
· Personality Disorders
· Learning Disabilities
· Child Sexual Exploitation
· Criminal Activity

The Residential Assessments were quite a good idea initially, however, problems often occurred when a number of families descended upon a single residence. As highlighted above these couples and their respective children were being assessed for a reason. Often cultural differences and personal interactions within the Residential Assessment property created additional problems and situations for the Social Workers to deal with.

As you can imagine the assessments weren’t always a huge success and after working in the environment for some years, the CF Social Work team decided that there had to be a better way forward.

Based on this experience the Reverse Residential Assessment was born; ‘necessity is the mother of invention’.

With many years of Social Work experience behind us, we fully appreciated how much easier it would be to assess a family in a familiar environment, preferably in their own home and without the interference of outside influences or any clash of cultures or personalities.

A far more relaxed situation for a struggling family to learn about basic child care and parenting skills seemed a sensible way forward. We knew that the results were sure to improve and therefore benefit both children and parents if they were observed in the family home without the inclusion of strangers with similar or perhaps worse issues to contend with.

The assessment observations were the same:

  • Basic Care of baby or child
  • Ensuring Safety
  • Emotional Warm
  • Stimulation
  • Guidance and Boundaries

Today while the parents and baby or children are being assessed on a 24/7 basis by our Social Work Assistants and details are reported back to our Independent Social Worker, other issues can also be considered such as the family history, family finances and housing.

The usual initial period of a Reverse Residential Assessment is around 10 days with a review on all collated reports and then the assessment can either continue 24/7 or become less frequent subject to results.

Thanks to C F Social Work parents with challenges can learn how to care for their babies or children and expect the best possible outcome but within the comfort of their own home. However, this is still not a commonly used practice, but it is one that CF Social Work has had amazing results with for many years now.

If you would like to know more or speak to us about your requirements call 01473 725794 and ask for Cheryl or Ken


We put the needs of children, young people and their families and carers at the heart of everything we do.