Most parents care deeply for their children and want what is best for them. They not only provide for their children's needs, but they also do whatever they can to make sure they're safe from harm. There are times, however, when parents become overwhelmed by the everyday responsibilities of caring for their family and, because of their own mental health issues or substance abuse problems, they begin to neglect or mistreat their children. Under such circumstances, state agencies like DSS must take over the care and protection of the children while they help the parents to get back on track. In these instances, treatment plans are typically developed to target specific parenting deficits.
At Dutch Fork Psychological Services we work closely with state agencies to help assess parents' treatment needs. Through psychological testing and in-depth clinical interviews we determine whether parents have mental health or substance abuse problems that are likely interfering with their ability to properly care for their children. We offer clear, specific recommendations for treatment services. In many instances we provide recommendations regarding parent-child visitation and the appropriateness of family therapy while the children are in foster care. By having a clear picture of parents' strengths and weaknesses with relation to their ability to protect and care for their children, DSS is in a better position to make effective decisions regarding reuniting families. Priority is placed on helping to ensure that parents will be protective of their children and have the resources to enable them to thrive.
Parenting assessments typically include evaluation of cognitive abilities, the presence of a serious mental illness or other mental health concerns (including history of compliance with treatments), and level of insight and judgment necessary to take adequate care of themselves and their children.Back to Assessment