Direct Assessment and Consultation

The Extended Formal Assessment

For some young people, it may be that they will require a more in depth extended assessment of their needs and capacities.  This can be initiated from 14-18 weeks into placement or at any point following this time period, throughout a child’s journey at Starley Hall.  This allows time for the young person to settle into the new environment and enables the team to make an accurate assessment of further need.

An extended formal assessment may be required if there is a specific challenge or where a broader understanding of the child’s needs is necessary.  This assessment is co-ordinated by Jane Macer who gathers information from multiple sources to include external agencies and family or past carers if appropriate.  During this process, the young person would meet with one or more members of the therapeutic team and participate in further assessment.

Various specialist assessments can be accessed at Starley Hall as part of this process, to include:

  • Speech and Language Assessment
  • Intellectual Assessment
  • Assessment of Social Communication Disorder/ASD (for information only – must be verified by psychiatrist)

A detailed integrated assessment profile is drawn up and distributed to professionals on completion of the extended formal assessment. Where appropriate this is shared directly with family.


The progress of all young people resident on our main site is reviewed every 6 – 8 weeks at a multidisciplinary meeting called a Focus Group. These focus Group meetings are attended by a member of the Therapeutic Team.  In the community houses, there are regular Care Planning meetings and members of the therapeutic service can attend on request and as required.

The therapeutic team offer consultation individually and in groups with adult carers and educators, as a minimum intervention for every child’s team at Starley Hall.

During a consultation, we often reflect on specific challenges the adults may face, how the adult teams understand these challenges and how they can respond effectively and therapeutically to the needs of the young people in their care.

The consultation model adopted at Starley Hall highlights the importance of the emotional and physical environment we offer young people.  Through this relational model, we recognize that the child is largely a product of the environment in which they have lived and so the staff team at Starley Hall must challenge the child’s established ideas about adults and care. Our therapeutic consultation model empowers adults to recognize their role as agents for change, skilling them to make systemic adjustments to meet a young person’s needs more effectively. This model removes the onus upon the child to change, providing an adaptive but stable environment that promotes therapeutic growth and development.