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Understanding harm and analysis of risk of future harm

The practice aids below are derived from a range of sources and some are not Cafcass original documents. Each practice aid has been identified for use by Cafcass staff. Information on the source of each document is referenced in the further information section below.  

Resources for assessing harm

ResourceGuidance on useSource
Assessment of coercive controlThis can be used where the Safe Lives Dash has identified elements of coercive and/or controlling behaviour to assess this dynamic more fully in the context of the application.Cafcass
Distinguishing DA and harmful conflict screening practice aidThis practice aid is designed to be used early in the life of a case to assist the FCA in deciding which will be of most assistance in their assessment: the blue domestic abuse practice aids and guidance or the orange harmful conflict practice aids and guidance. It is not designed to be a diagnostic practice aid in and of itself and does not replace professional judgement.Cafcass
Motivators and indicators regarding victim empathy practice aidA new practice practice aid – based on the Sturge and Glaser criteria – has been introduced to the CIAF. It should not be used as a checklist or standalone practice aid but as a supplemental guide to explore motivation and victim empathy within a holistic assessment alongside the static and dynamic risk factors.Cafcass – based on Sturge and Glaser, 2000
SafeLives DASH guidanceUse in interview if domestic abuse is current to establish if a referral to MARAC is required.Safe Lives
SafeLives DASH practice aidPractice aid for assessing wider family and friends to support contact.Safe Lives
SCAARF practice aidPractice aid for assessing wider family and friends to support contact.Cafcass
Situational couple violence guidanceGuidance on recognising situational couple violence and points to consider.Cafcass
Spending time arrangements safety indicatorTo be used during or post interview to analyse whether contact is safe / in child’s best interests.Cafcass – derived from Sturge and Glaser, 2000
Adult well-being scaleTo be used in an interview to establish an evidence base for analysis.DoH 2000
Alcohol use practice aidTo be used in an interview to establish an evidence base for analysis.Adapted from Department of Health (DoH 2000)
Capacity to changeAn analytical practice aid which can be used after the interviews with the parents/carers to evidence their capacity to change. This can be reviewed at the end of the proceedings to inform final recommendations.Adaption of Di Clemente & Prochaska (1982)
Child exploitation screening practice aidThis practice aid can be applied to all children (male and female) under the age of 18 and its purpose is to enable practitioners to assess a child’s level of risk of CSE and/or CCE in a concise and consistent manner.Cafcass
Home conditions assessmentAn assessment practice aid which can be used if making a home visit where there have been concerns about neglect and poor home conditions.DoH 2000
Mental health thinking practice aidThis is a practice aid to help organise FCAs thinking and critically review evidence in cases where parents have mental health difficulties. It is not designed to be a prescriptive or definitive measure of risk and should be used in the context of the overall structured professional judgement, in conjunction with the broader evidence in the case.Dr Sheena Webb, Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust for Cafcass, 2017.
Neglect appraisal practice aidThe practice aid methodology was derived from the Graded Care Profile which helps to ascribe levels of risk and was aimed for public law practitioners for their use when doing their gap analysis in order to help them independently assess levels of risk and so inform and evidence their position regarding interim removal, where neglect is a key issue.NSPCC
Parenting daily hassles scaleAn assessment practice aid which can be used with the parents/carers to consider their view of the children’s needs and how they are coping with these needs.DoH 2000
Resilience vulnerability matrix An analytical practice aid which can be used to explore the resilience and vulnerability factors in children; which enables an assessment specific to the individual child.From Gorden et al. (2000)
Rosenberg Self Esteem practice aidA 10-item scale that measures global self-worth by measuring both positive and negative feelings about the self.From Rosenberg, 1965
SCODA risk assessmentThis practice aid outlines seven key domains that can be used as part of risk assessment with parental drug use.SCODA
Practice aids for drug abuseTo be used in an interview to establish an evidence base for analysis.Cafcass – adapted from Fowler, 2003
Understanding of concerns An assessment practice aid which can be used with the parent/s at the commencement of involvement. This is to assist the Guardian to assess the parents/carers understanding of the concerns (which is a first step in assessing their capacity to change). This can be reviewed at the end of the proceedings to reflect on what changes have or have not been made.Fowler 2003
Understanding of concerns, impact on child and actions to be takenAn assessment practice aid which can be used with the parent/s/ carers at the commencement of involvement, to further consider their understanding of the concerns, the impact on the child, and any actions which the parents/carers need to take in order to address the concerns. These actions can then be reviewed towards the end of the court proceedings.Cafcass
Domestic abuse - what we need to know Private/public law: use in interview to establish the nature, duration and context of domestic abuse, to assist in the benchmarking of risk against the Barnardo’s Domestic Violence Risk Identification Matrix.Cafcass
Impact on children of experiencing DAProvides FCAs with guidance on working with children who are living with domestic abuse and the trauma it can cause.Cafcass
Criminal History practice aidSelect this practice aid to gather information during interviews as required in most applications.Cafcass, derived from Fowler 2005
Appointment of Experts- Quick Reference Guide Cafcass