Family Assessment and Safeguarding Service
Who are the FASS team?
The Family Assessment and Safeguarding Service is a specialist multidisciplinary service: we are psychotherapists, nurses and psychologists, all with training in adult and child mental health, and experience working with families with complex problems.
We have expertise in parent-child attachment, child and infant mental health, trauma, and family law.
We work as a team, which means we bring multiple viewpoints to your family, a comprehensive assessment of your situation and carefully thought-out treatment.
What we do
We provide child and parenting assessments and treatments in families where there are safeguarding concerns, such as where there is a high risk of severe parenting problems (including maltreatment and neglect) or a high risk of major parent/child relationship difficulties and/or attachment disorder.
Families referred to us may have one or more of their children under a child protection plan or supervision order. Often, the families we work with have complex difficulties with relationships, parenting or mental health.
How we work
Once we receive a referral for a family, we meet with the professionals who are already involved in their care. We gather as many viewpoints as possible so that we can get a balanced picture of the circumstances.
When we first meet a family, we will think through the concerns from their point of view, and consider whether working with us is likely to be helpful. Sometimes the first appointment may be for the whole family, sometimes only one or two members of the family will attend.
We may invite the family in again for more discussion about their situation, some observed play sessions, or some questionnaires. These assessments will help us clarify the unique strengths and difficulties in the family and tailor our work to their particular needs.
Treatment at FASS usually involves joining a parent group, and parents having their own individual therapy too.
Depending on their needs, we may offer mentalization-based therapy, psychotherapy, family therapy, parent-child sessions, trauma-focussed therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, or video-interaction guidance.
We also provide a court expert witness service including court reports and expert witness testimony.
We carry out assessments within an ‘Expert Team’ model, with assessment components being carried out by many team members, followed by discussion between team members to arrive at a consensus opinion.
One of us then collates and edits a report summarising the team’s opinion.
Page last reviewed: 7 September, 2021