Assessments for Family Courts


DVIP Vulnerability Assessments

DVIP complete vulnerability assessments when ordered by the courts in public law care proceedings, or when instructed by social services, to help inform care planning. This page should answer your queries regarding these assessments if you have any other concerns please contact us.

Who has a vulnerability assessment and why?

Children’s services may refer you for a vulnerability assessment as part of ongoing care proceedings or a social worker can refer you for a report about the impact that domestic abuse has had on you and your children.

What is a vulnerability assessment?

This is an assessment of the impact that domestic abuse may have had on your parenting, alongside your vulnerability to future abuse. It will look at these in detail and recommend strategies and treatment options.

Can I refer myself for a vulnerability assessment?

We only accept referrals from social workers for these assessments.

What happens next?

Once we have received the referral and the documents we require from social services we will hand the case to an assessor. The assessor will then contact you to arrange for you to meet for 2 – 3 appointments. All appointments take place at our Southwark Office in Westminster Bridge Road and you may need to speak to your social worker if you require help with travel or childcare. Please note that we are unable to accommodate children on the premises so you will need to arrange child care for your appointments.

How long does it take?

A vulnerability assessment report usually takes 6 weeks from when we receive all the necessary documents. 

What does it cost?

The costs of the assessment will usually be met by social services or, if you are in court proceedings, the court may order the costs to be split between the parties and so your portion would be paid for by legal aid and your solicitor should deal with this for you.

What if English is not your first language?

When your social worker refers you they should advise that an interpreter is required and so one will be arranged for all of your interviews. 

The assessment has been completed, what happens next?

The assessment report will be sent to the social worker or solicitor who referred you. The court will consider the recommendations in the report and may make further orders regarding contact arrangements or treatment.

What treatment is available for me?

The report may recommend that you attend DVIPs Womens Treatment Programme. This programme includes 10 group workshops and 10 one-to-one sessions attending twice a week. For further information please visit our services for women page.

My ex/partner and I have been ordered to complete a ‘joint’ assessment, what does this mean?

A joint assessment means that one assessor will be assessing both you and your ex/partner and including both risk and vulnerability assessments in one report. You will not be attending the interviews together and your ex/partner will not know the time and date of your appointments. These assessments can only be referred to by social services.

Should you have any further questions, please contact us 



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