Psychological and Cognitive Assessments
Should a referrer have concerns about the extent to which mental health difficulties affect a parent’s functioning, we can provide formal screening for psychopathology. A parents capacity to use and retain information can also be assessed. These assessments are undertaken by our expert HCPC registered psychologists.
Assessments of psychological functioning – These assessments are undertaken by our HCPC registered psychologists using well-respected self-report inventories alongside a clinical interview. The assessment can be delivered alongside another DVACT-PAI assessment or it can be delivered as a standalone assessment for local authority cases. However, please note that a psychological assessment does not replace the need for a risk/safety assessment – the presence of mental health difficulties is not necessarily a risk indicator, and many people who pose a high risk do not have an identifiable mental health difficulty.
An assessment of psychological functioning includes:
Administering Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory IV
Interview with parents
While it is beyond the area of expertise of a psychologist to make diagnoses, the report can comment on any observed indications of mental health problems or personality difficulties and make recommendations for treatment to address these.
Cognitive assessments – This assessment will focus on the capacity of a parent to use and retain information. It will involve a short clinical history taking and the administration of a standardised, validated measure of IQ (the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales IV – WAIS IV). The findings of a cognitive assessment can help to ensure that communication and support are provided to the parent in a way that they can understand and use.
Please be aware that it is not possible to use the WAIS IV with parents who do not have a good command of the English language, even with an interpreter present. In general we do not have access to versions of this test in other languages. However, we can explore with the parent whether there have been any indicators of cognitive difficulties in their developmental, educational and employment history, and their literacy and everyday coping skills. This screening exercise can be supplemented with a language-free test, such as the Test of Nonverbal Intelligence Fourth Edition (TONI-4) or the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales (II).