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Assessments for Family Courts

 

DVIP Risk Assessments

DVIP complete risk assessments when ordered by the courts in private law contact proceedings or when instructed by social services for cases in care proceedings or to help inform care planning. This page should answer your queries regarding these assessments.

Who has a risk assessment and why?

You may see us for a risk assessment if:

  • You have applied to the family court for contact with your child or children and the court has ordered that we complete an assessment of the risks you may pose to your ex-partner and children.
  • Your children are in care proceedings and children's services (social services have referred you.
  • A social worker has referred you for a report about your behaviour and it's effect on your partner and child(ren).

What is a risk assessment?

This is an assessment of the risk posed by yourself towards your ex-partner and child(ren).

Can I refer myself for a risk assessment?

If a social worker is allocated to your case the referral must come from them. If you are in private law contact proceedings the court must order the assessment before we can accept a referral from you or solicitors involved in the case.

What happens next?

Once we have received all the documentation we require the assessor assigned to your case will invite you to two or three interviews.  Usually we invite your partner or ex-partner to a separate interview, so that our report can include their views about your violent or abusive behaviour.

Where will the assessment take place?

All of the interview appointments will take place at our Southwark offices, Westminster Bridge Road, near Waterloo station. We are unable to accommodate children on the premises so you may need to arrange child care in advance and, while you may wish to bring someone with you, they will not be able to wait at the premises or join you in the interview. If you require help with access please contact us before your appointment.

How long does it take?

A risk assessment report for the Family Court usually takes 6 weeks from when we receive all the necessary documents. 

What does it cost?

If your children are in care proceedings and Children’s Services refer you, there is no charge to you.  If you have applied for contact in private law proceedings there is a fee for the assessment that may not be met by your legal aid certificate (if you have one), therefore, you will also need to pay for the preparation of this assessment report yourself. In order for us to calculate what your contribution will be we ask that you forward us proof of income. Please see the leaflet in the download section opposite - Information for Fathers who have been ordered by the Family Courts to complete a Risk Assessment at DVIP. 

 If you are funding the assessment yourself we will be unable to start any work on your case until we have received all of the fees in full.

Why does the risk assessment involve talking to the ex/partner?

The DVIP Assessor will always seek to interview the victim so that their account of their partner’s violent and abusive behaviour can be included in the reports we provide to the Courts. Whilst the victim does not have to attend these appointments, we strongly urge that they do so, so that their views and any concerns can be taken into consideration when writing the risk assessment. It is important to note that if the victim does not attend we will still carry out the risk assessment but it will be difficult for us to fully incorporate their views.

Further information for Mothers can be found in the leaflet opposite - Information for ex partners of men who have been ordered by the family courts to complete a risk assessment at DVIP

What if English is not your first language?

When you first contact us please let us know if you require an interpreter and one will be provided for you by DVIP for the interviews. 

The assessment has been completed, what happens next?

The assessment report will be sent to the referring social worker or, in private law to all the parties. The court will consider the recommendations in the report and may make further orders regarding contact arrangements or treatment.

 

Should you have any further questions, please contact us .

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