Parenting assessments and support

Mum and daughterSymbol Family Support Service is a specialist organisation, which exists to assess and support the parenting capacity of mothers and fathers who are vulnerable, for example, as a result of learning disability or young age. Symbol brings together a specialist team of expert practitioners and the available evidence base to ensure that, where concern exists, parents have their parenting potential assessed, supported and understood. The best interests of children and the safeguarding of vulnerable adults and children are paramount in all we do, whether it is long term support for families in the community or assessment of parenting capacity at  our Ofsted rated “Outstanding” residential family centre.

  • The very best interests of the children concerned are integral and paramount to the service’s philosophy and practice.
  • External professionals say, ‘I enjoy working with this service because the staff are professional and competent. They always put the needs of the children first.’
  • Written records demonstrate consultations with local and placing authorities being conducted in a timely manner
  • Visiting professionals say, ‘I am confident that on every occasion this service always places the welfare of the child first.’
  • Parents can be reassured that the service operates openly, honestly and realistically, with the welfare of the child based at the heart of its practice.

Some people have reported difficulties in finding the Outstanding Ofsted report for our residential assessment service. If looking for it on Ofsted’s website you need to be aware that the service is named after its location, Newington Manor, and not Symbol. Searching for Symbol will take you to a residential assessment service at Woodlands Farm, which we ceased operating some time ago and deregistered in 2013. Woodlands Farm is now used as the base for our community service and for 3 housing units. The family accommodation at Woodlands Farm operates as privately rented accommodation and can be utilized by Local Authorities after a family’s residential assessment whilst, for example, a community assessment or community support is provided.

“The experience of having the family in Symbol care has been a very clear and professional process. With Symbol doing exactly what was asked and reporting in a very child focused manner.” Local authority feedback 2015