Family Assessment and Safeguarding Service (FASS)
Who is the FASS team?
The Family Assessment and Safeguarding Service is a specialist mental health team, with expertise in attachment, family trauma and family relationships.
We work with parents, across Oxfordshire, where there are safeguarding concerns and complex relational difficulties within the family network, directly impacting on the parent and child relationship.
We help families, and the network supporting them, when there are concerns about risk and /or harm to children in their direct care.
What we do
We offer consultation to professionals to think together how best to support families.
We also offer specialist assessment and psychological interventions to 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 parent/child relationship difficulties.
We work directly with parents focussing on the emotional side of parenting. Our therapeutic input seeks to protect children from harm by building on parents’ capacity for attentive, attuned, and sensitive caregiving.
Families referred to us will also be open to children’s services and may have one or more of their children under a child protection plan, child in need 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 will often invite parents to meet with us again for more discussion about their situation, there may be further appointments for observed play sessions at home, and to complete parenting questionnaires.
These appointments will help us clarify the unique strengths and difficulties in the family and tailor our work to their particular needs.
We can offer parents short and longer term parenting interventions depending on their needs.
Treatment at FASS usually involves joining a parent group.
We offer mentalization-based therapy, both group and individual, for parents, video-interaction guidance, and parent and child life story work.
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Page last reviewed: 15 December, 2023