During proceedings involving social services, there is an expectation by the Court that all necessary assessments are undertaken in order to allow the Court to consider who should care for a child at the end of the case. Often family members and family friends are put forward to be assessed to see whether they are suitable to care for the children. These assessments are called Kinship Assessments, Viability Assessment or Connected Persons Assessments.
Often if you are assessed positively the Local Authority will fund legal advice so that you can understand in more detail the possible orders, support and options available to you if the Court took the decision to place a child in your care. Our team is often asked to provide such advice so please do get in touch so your assessment can be discussed further.
Sometime these assessments are negative. You will be given the option to challenge the assessment and make an application to the court to do so. In order for us to advise you on the merits of any challenge, we would ask that you get in touch as soon as possible after receipt of the assessment so your options can be discussed in more detail.
Can I challenge a negative Kinship / viability assessment?
Should the assessment conclude with a negative outcome, the local authority will not recommend further assessment. It is possible to challenge a negative assessment, however this requires exploration and legal advice. You will need to provide a copy of the assessment to a solicitor who will then advise on whether there are merits in challenging the assessment and the process that you would need to follow in order to do so.
What happens if my Kinship / viability assessment is positive?
If the assessment has a positive conclusion, it is likely the local authority will recommend and commence undertaking a Special Guardianship Assessment
Please see our free fact sheet on Kinship Assessments, Viability Assessment and Connected Persons Assessments that answers some commonly asked questions.