Residential and Community Assessment

Little Acorn services (LAS) provides residential and community based social work assessments of families involved in care proceedings and families subject to pre-care proceedings support and assessment via the Public Law Outline (PLO) process.

The LAS family assessment service aims to undertake holistic assessments of young parents including environmental factors and their extended family or significant support network where appropriate.   These assessments are thorough and evidence based with detailed analysis in relation to the parents ability to provide ‘good enough’ care for their child(ren) and enable their child(ren) to achieve positive outcomes. Assessments consider the parents ability to meet the physical, emotional, developmental and social needs whilst considering any risk posed to the child by the parenting they receive. During the assessment process families will be supported with strategies and to access services such as Children’s Centre’s and community support groups to support any identified areas of concern. The assessment will make recommendations on the parents ability to safely care for their child(ren) independently and what support is required to enable the parents to sustain a good enough standard of care.


Our social worker is Motivational Interview (MI) trained and uses this collaborative approach to work with and assess parenting ability. This method is goal orientated, supportive and focuses on engaging and motivating service users to make and sustain changes. It is also a very useful tool in clearly identifying and evidencing strengths and risk. MI promotes working in partnership and empowering parents whilst continuously assessing their ability.   Strengths and areas for development are measured against the dimensions of parenting as set out in the Assessment Framework.

All work with parents is clear, focused and transparent. Work is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that parents and involved professionals have a clear understanding of the families needs, progress being made or areas that require further support.

Each family is treated as an individual and any assessment/ work undertaken is designed according to the needs of the child and family. We are committed to promoting the best outcomes for children. We work very closely with parents and acknowledge the challenges associated with young families however, our work is child focused and the needs of the child(ren) are always paramount.