The Graded Care Profile and Home Conditions Survey

Assessing and intervening where neglect may be an issue

The Graded Care Profile and the Home Conditions Assessment have been adopted by the LSCB in Warrington for families where neglect is an area of concern for a child’s welfare. The ‘tools’ can be used across the Children’s Continuum of Need and by practitioners from various agencies.

Neglect is difficult to define and agencies have varied views about what constitutes neglect. These and the lack of a common language cause difficulties.

To support assessments these two tools can be used to focus on ‘neglect’

Parents should be encouraged and assisted to assess their own home.

The Home Conditions Assessment and the Graded Care Profile

The Home Conditions assessment tool is a short assessment of the physical aspects of the home conditions and the impact on the children who live there. These impacts may be greater depending on the age and stage of development of the child.  For example, a badly soiled floor will have a different impact on a child who is crawling, when compared to an older child.  Particular home conditions may prompt actions (e.g. clearing of rubbish in the home by the parents) which can inform plans.

The scoring sheet provides a total score and also identifies those areas flagged for attention. The tool concludes with decisions, tasks, actions and consent issues.

Subsequent reviews will establish if the home conditions have improved or deteriorated. A separate sheet to track progress over time is provided.

The Graded Care Profile is a more detailed tool that grades a range of statements that may indicate neglect against a standardised framework.  This enables the component parts of the quality of care to be separately assessed against predetermined criteria.   It facilitates common language across agencies and helps in relation to clearer thresholds and reducing subjectivity.

It is a universal model that can be used by most agencies during assessment, intervention or pre-referral to other agencies including Children and Young People’s services. It includes strengths and weaknesses and facilitates targeted interventions.

It can focus on specific facets of neglect that concern agencies. This allows workers to identify strengths as well as those areas of deficiency that require intervention.  The indicators include physical care e.g. nutrition, safety e.g. traffic and suitability of carers; responsiveness to the child e.g. sensitivity and communication; and esteem e.g. stimulations and acceptance.

These tools can be also used as evidence for Child Protection Conferences, Public Law Outline or Court Proceedings. The Graded Care Profile has been evaluated and used successfully in many other Authorities.