Western Psychology Services - Parent Assessments
Western Psychology Services has become a prominent centre in Calgary for the assessment of parents. It offers a wide range of assessments and professional consultations relating to parenting, and works closely with other organizations and agencies to provide the best possible service for individuals and families who are in need of help.
Many times when children have become identified to Alberta Child & Family Services, or when the courts want to gain ideas about how best to help families, the parents are asked to take part in a parent assessment. Parents will typically spend time meeting with an assessor to learn and discuss ways that the family can gain supports and improve the well-being of the children.
There are several types of parent assessments:
- Parenting Capacity Assessment - This is an assessment designed to help Child & Family Services or the courts to determine if a person is capable of being a safe and responsible care-giver for the child. If there are child protection problems, the assessment will make recommendations about what kinds of help can be offered to the parents to help them to become safe and responsible parents for their children.
- Custody Evaluation - Custody and access assessments are sometimes used for parents already in the court system who have not been able to resolve their custody and access issues on their own. The assessor offers recommendations about a parenting plan that will serve the best interests of the children. These are sometimes referred to as Bilateral assessments, or Practice Note 8 assessments, or Parenting Time/Parenting Responsibilities assessments.
- Limited Focus Assessment - Sometimes there is only one small area or question that is not clear to the courts or to Child & Family Services, and there is no need for a time-consuming, full assessment. Meeting with an assessor can often clarify a specific problem and lead to a specific plan to solve the issue.
- Individual Assessments of Adults - In some situations adults find that they have struggles in the adult arena of their lives, which do not directly involve their children but indirectly these stresses can spill over into their relationships with their children. An assessor can give ideas and make arrangements for help in these areas, so that parents can cope better and remain effective as parents. These could include Cognitive assessments, Parent Psychological assessments, Sexual Risk assessments, or Violence Risk assessments.
- Voice of the Child Assessments - In some situations, the courts may be seeking to know how the child is coping with the parents’ separation/divorce, and the existing parenting plan. A Voice of the Child assessment allows a parenting expert to spend time with the child to get an idea of the child’s experience of the divorce, and to identify any possible areas of concern that should be addressed by the courts in order to ensure the child’s best interests are well-understood.