Children’s Society survey provides an interesting insight for Independent Social Workers.

Posted on February 3rd, 2010

The Children’s Society revealed the results of its ‘Well-being’ survey yesterday, and received widespread media coverage.  Whilst it did not delve deep into some of the problems seen by Independent Social Workers, it did provide some useful findings.

The survey centred on the happiness of children in school years 6, 8 and 10.  The children were asked various questions regarding their happiness, and what affects this.  The children gave their answers on a scale of 1-10.  The survey consisted of 100 questions,

The main findings from the survey were that family conflicts affect children’s happiness more than family structure.  20% of the variation in the children’s happiness could be attributed to family conflicts.  This is compared to 2% being down to family structure.

Whilst it is unlikely to change the way in which child focused Social Workers work, it may aid their understanding of a child’s feelings. Independent Social Workers may have already noticed this pattern, and having this information available could aid Social Workers in the preparation of Core Assessments, and Section 7 and 37 Reports and in chairing Family Group Conferences.

Bob Reitemeier, the Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said of the report; “Family Conflict emerges in this study as a major cause of childhood unhappiness, and so it is vital that families can get the sort of family mediation and counselling The Children’s Society offers to help them resolve and avoid conflicts.”

Avocet Independent Social Workers provide a wide range of Social Work Services to Local Authorities, Solicitors, Courts and other organisations.  Our child focused approach enables us to provide Court Reports, Viability Assessments, Core Assessments and Kinship Assessments to a high standard.


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Government to offer Fathers Guide to Parenthood

Posted on January 26th, 2010

In The Observer newspaper on Sunday 17th January 2010 it was reported that new fathers will be given a ‘dads guide’ to fatherhood that will cover an explanation of breastfeeding and tips on how to support their partner. Avocet welcomes the news that the government will announce this useful tool for Independent Social Workers and new fathers in their green paper to be published later this week on families and relationships.

Avocet agrees that some government policies can focus on mothers and note that this attitude can be reflected in some Independent Social Work assessments. The green paper echoes the views of Avocet that involving fathers in their children’s early years care is productive for their child’s development as well as helping the couple’s relationship to be more stable.

The guide for new fathers has been written and published by the Fatherhood Institution and could be a useful tool for Independent Social Workers. A manual is also being written for midwives so they can offer support to fathers. Once the pamphlet is published it will be considered in Avocet assessments ensuring fathers know their role in raising their children and ascertaining whether fathers are committed to providing ‘good enough’ parenting to their children thus avoiding the risk of significant harm. A concern of Avocet in relation to the pamphlet is that fathers of all academic levels will need to access the information and it also needs to be aimed at fathers with a learning disability or who have difficulty reading and may not understand the material.

Avocet supports and encourages the inclusion of fathers in all of our assessments, particularly Core Assessments and Section 7 reports. There is research available that demonstrates that children do better at school if their fathers are involved in their education and that children who have contact with a positive role model are less likely to commit criminal offences. Avocet Independent Social Work Parenting Assessments seek to understand and assess the behaviours of both mothers and fathers.

Teachers are also being asked to engage more with fathers, including sending them school reports if a pupil’s parents are separated. Avocet Independent Social Workers would support this action and incorporate working in partnership with teachers whilst completing multiagency Core Assessments and Section 37 reports for Local Authorities and the Court.

Avocet Independent Social Workers are committed to working with mothers and fathers during assessments to consider the best outcomes for children. Avocet deems working equally with father and mothers as an important part of its equality and diversity policy.


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