Consultation and Assessment

Safer Children,
Stronger Families,
Healthier Communities
Home/Child and Family Services/Consultation and Assessment

1.) Community Based Parenting Capacity Assessment

Childhood Matters provide multidisciplinary Parenting Capacity Assessments throughout the Munster Area. This is used to assist professionals with decision making in relation to a parent’s ability to parent and safeguard their child(ren) to a level that will allow for a safe and healthy childhood or to determine if reunification is in a child’s best interests.

Families are referred for a PCA when the professionals involved with the family:

  • Are unsure of a parent’s capacity and are worried about a child’s wellbeing in its parent(s)’s care.
  • Have serious concerns but limited evidence to reach a definite decision about the long term future of the child(ren).
  • Believe there is significant risk but there is potential for change and for the family to remain together.
  • Want to understand if enough has changed since a child was removed into care to consider reunifciation.

When a PCA is community based, parents are observed over a number of visits in their own home with their children or in access/contact facilities.

Uniqueness of the Assessments

Childhood Matters is committed to providing a first class service and believe that the components of our uniqueness include:

  • A multidisciplinary approach with both the psychological profiling of the families and frequent behavioural observations
  • Multiple observations over time
  • Efficient and timely approach
  • Independent voice and voluntary organisation
  • Comprehensive recommendations
  • Providing expert court witness and reports

PCAs are often requested by social workers, child protection teams, Guardian Ad Litem or Court services. The fee for the service can be discussed with the Centre, however, as the Centre is a not-for-profit organisation its fee structure serves only to cover the costs involved.

If you would like to enquire about commissioning a parenting capacity assessment please contact:

Mr Jonathan Horgan at

Make a referral here

2.) PAMS Assessment

The PAMS Assessment Tool was introduced in 1998 by Dr Sue McGraw. It was designed to assess parenting ability if they have been diagnosed with an intellectual disability. It uses knowledge cartoons, a parent booklet, worksheets and observation forms. The information gathered during the course of the assessment is entered into a software programme which in turn produces graphs and recommendations on different areas of parenting ability. Typically a PAMS Assessment takes between 10-12 weeks to complete.

If you are interested in this service please contact

3.) Adult and Child Psychological Assessments

Our in-house clinical team can provide child or adult psychological assessments for Social Work Departments in the Munster Area.

These include –

  • Cognitive Assessment
  • Personality and Mental Health Assessment
  • Violence Risk Assessment
  • Child Wellbeing Assessment

If you would like to enquire about commissioning a psychological assessment please contact:

Dr Calem De Burca.

4.) Clinical Lead Service

Our clinical lead service is a unique service provided to social work departments working with complex family cases, often where there a multiple children and multiple professionals/agencies involved.

The overarching remit of the service is to co-ordinate and organise professional teams to ensure that children in care are placed in the centre of all decisions made within their support system and provide a psychological focus to any decisions that need to me made relating to the child.

Clinical Lead Services can be commissioned for period of six or twelve months.

If you would like to enquire about commissioning a clinical lead service please contact:

Dr Calem De Burca.

5.) Legal / Team / Media Consultancy

Our team of clinical psychologists and social workers have a broad range of experience in working with all walks of life and professional groupings.

We are available for consultancy in the areas of:

  • Child Care
  • Child Protection
  • Attachment
  • Infant Mental Health
  • Team Dynamics
  • Child Abuse
  • Adverse Childhood Expereinces