6. Who should contribute to an assessment of a child’s wellbeing?
Section 96(1) refers to ‘a person’ assessing the wellbeing of a child or young person. This term covers relevant staff from all those organisations to whom this guidance applies (local authorities, health boards, directing authorities; other service providers and related services as defined in section 7 of the Act; relevant authorities as defined in section 31 and schedule 2 of the Act, listed authorities as detailed in section 44 and schedule 3 of the Act, and corporate parents as detailed in section 56 and schedule 4 of the Act). The term may also relate to individuals working in third sector organisations and independent contractors delivering functions on behalf of any of the organisations listed above.
A wide range of practitioners require to think about children’s wellbeing in the course of their day-to-day activities. Practitioners who undertake a professional responsibility role for children or young people, such as a named person (Practice Guidance 2) or lead professional (Practice Guidance 3), and those with indirect responsibilities (for example, those delivering services to parents) may contribute to an assessment of a child or young person’s wellbeing. Any assessment should normally be carried out together with the child or young person and family where they are involved in decision-making. There may be limited circumstances where that is not appropriate.
Assessments of wellbeing will be required in many different circumstances. Local authorities, health boards, directing authorities, third sector organisations; other service providers and related services as defined in Part 3; the public bodies listed in schedules 2 and 3, and the corporate parents in schedule 4 of the Act must have local training, policies and procedures in place to make sure their employees can contribute effectively to wellbeing assessments using the National Practice Model (Practice Guidance 1), where appropriate.
Service providers in the community may have information (Practice Guidance 4) relevant to children’s wellbeing, which may be important to inform a wellbeing assessment. The person assessing the child or young person’s wellbeing should seek out information appropriately.
Where a child or young person requires the support of a specialist service, the specialist practitioner will have individual assessment tools to analyse information about a specific area of their needs. These specialist assessments form part of the holistic assessment of wellbeing where required, together with children, young people, families and others, and should be considered in the context of the child or young person’s life at home, in a learning environment and in the wider community.
Practice Guidance 1 – Using the National Practice Model gives more information on how a wellbeing assessment should be completed.
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