Crown House (01684 577496) is a Residential Family Assessment Centre in Great Malvern, Worcestershire. The Malvern Hills, shopping and all other amenities are within a 5-minute walk from the Centre. Frequent direct railway services connect Great Malvern with Birmingham and London Paddington with good railway links to the rest of the country. Easy access by road is available via the M5 motorway.
Parenting assessments are undertaken at Crown House on behalf of the Local Authority or other relevant agencies
to assist in decision making in relation to the long-term living arrangements for children. Assessments are undertaken in a non-oppressive and nurturing environment and the emphasis at all times is about reaching the appropriate outcome for each parent and child who comes to Crown House. Direct work is undertaken with immense sensitivity and respect, often dealing with complex historical issues, many of which will not have been addressed previously.
The Centre is registered for 8 families and can accommodate both single parents and couples with their children and will tailor make the assessment to meet individual needs of each family. Staffing ratios are high to enable families to have appropriate support at all times. Whilst at Crown House parents are encouraged to care for themselves and their children independently, enabling parents to reach their full potential.
Parents are assessed for their competence in all routine tasks involved in raising a family. Formal structured appraisal complements family observation to provide a comprehensive and balanced assessment package.
Crown House undertakes viability assessments free of charge. This process includes a critical review of the paperwork and then where appropriate a face to face interview with the adult family members considered for assessment. normally these in-depth interviews take place at Crown House as this also allows the family to view the facilities, ask questions and thereby make an informed choice about whether a residential assessment at Crown House is for them.
Visiting the Centre often alleviates anxieties families have and allows staff to assess the family`s understanding of and commitment to the assessment process. Critically this early contact affords an insight into the issues that have given cause for concern and often provides an indicator as to the attitude and empathy towards the children.
Crown House provides a written outcome following viability assessments which can be used to present to the court in care proceedings. The purpose of the viability assessment is to decide if a residential family assessment is a viable option and if Crown House can meet their needs.
An in-depth assessment follows the Framework of the Assessment of Children in need and their Families. Assessments are usually concluded within 12 weeks.
Each Residential Assessment Plan is individually designed to meet the needs and requirements of the family and the referring agencies. The Centre reinforces positive parenting by creating a caring, nurturing environment.
Crown House promotes the development of self-esteem and a sense of achievement. Our team offers intensive support to all families and where appropriate 24-hour supervision.
An understanding of a family’s links in its own community forms a key part of our work. Crown House collaboratively work with the referring Social Worker and other appropriate local agencies to identify and establish ongoing support links. Families are assessed for their capacity to parent. Progress is monitored on a daily and weekly basis through observation and direct work. Historical issues and concerns are discussed in a self–reflective manner, both to encourage recognition of problems and to develop an awareness of the link between past personal experience and one’s own current parenting attitudes.
Parents take part in planned programmes of direct work at a minimum frequency of two one hour sessions per weekday. The intensity of the approach enables issues to be identified and addressed at an early stage in the assessment process. Programmes of direct work include Child Protection, Domestic Violence, Alcohol Misuse, Substance Misuse, Relationships, Anger Management, Safety, Play and Child Development. Sessions are planned according to the issues and risks relevant to the family’s specific circumstances. Crown House has a proven record of working successfully with families with a variety of needs including parents who have learning disabilities and/or mental health difficulties.
Following the completion of the assessment, an individually designed transition plan is identified in consultation with other professionals, enabling the family to be supported fully in the critical stage of returning to the community. This sensitive transition planning is in place for all families regardless of the outcome of the assessment.
Alongside the development of a structured routine which includes direct work sessions, regular mealtimes, there is a daily shopping trip and a trip to the park, additional leisure activities are also encouraged.
Crown House is supportive throughout placements and seeks to provide a realistic balance between the encouragement of individual personal hobbies and interests and the assessment of their parenting skills. The atmosphere within the Centre is deliberately informal and friendly; the discipline needed to ensure the well-being of parents and staff alike is maintained as far as possible on a low key basis.
The level of close supervision is agreed between all parties prior to admission. Whether full-time 24 hour supervision arrangements (where for example fabricated illness or non-accidental injury is suspected) or the more standard supervision arrangements whereby there is a gradual reduction in monitoring from full observations and 15 minute checks to spot checks, our philosophy is to prioritise the safety of the child whilst recognising the parent’s right to reasonable privacy. A continuous focus on child protection issues is a cornerstone of a Crown House Assessment.
Crown House evidence-based reports are prepared by a member of the Senior Staff Team, who are all qualified Social Workers with significant experience in Child Protection and Care Proceedings.
Five weekly review meetings or the final meeting are usually held at Crown House. The 5-week meeting will typically determine whether the continuance of assessment work is likely to prove productive for the family. A detailed review report is provided as the basis for this key review.
Final recommendations are given in Week 10/11, permitting structured exit planning. Again a comprehensive supporting report provides the basis for the final meeting.
Throughout the Assessment, Key Workers and Family Support Workers maintain a daily dialogue about progress with families and relevant professionals and detailed records are maintained. Feedback progress reports are provided to parents at weekly intervals and targets are set for the coming week. Crown House prides itself on working in partnership with parents and in the transparency of the assessment process.
Should you consider Crown House potentially to be suitable for a referral, we are available at all times to discuss case specifics. Demand for places invariably
is high but our flexible reservation system enables admissions to be made to suit most timescales.
For a preliminary discussion, please contact the Manager on 01684 577496.