Psychological Assessments

When social services or guardians need advice in any aspect of child welfare and protection our dedicated team is there to offer in-depth knowledge, expertise and practical experience.

The Bessborough Centre is also cognisant of the severe disadvantage with which some parents approach parenthood and this has directed a clinical policy of therapeutic assessment to all our service users.

Our expert psychology team, led by a senior clinical psychologist, advises and guides therapeutic interventions at the centre and is involved in supervision, consultation, case planning and assessment.

Working in a multi-disciplinary environment, our independent evidence based assessments provide social services, legal and childcare professionals, who work with or represent children, with the clear and defined recommendations they need to make informed decisions about the protection and nurture of children.

Alongside our psychometric measures we also offer a range of assessments used within the areas of attachment, parent-child interactions and mentalising capacity. For coding we currently rely on a number of sources including The Coding Consortium UK where we access highly reliable, experienced coders who are ‘blind’ to any of the other characteristics of the situation as well as individually accomplished coders in the field of Attachment Assessment where we use the Dynamic Maturational Model (DMM) and the Pregnancy Interview.

Assessments can be tailored to the particular circumstances of the family or the needs of the child. The aim of these assessments is to consider and identify key areas for clinical intervention with a view to offering a supportive and therapeutic service to our service users.

Our assessment programmes include:

  • psychological testing for child protection concerns
  • IQ assessments
  • Personality Assessments
  • Parental Development Interview (PDI)
  • Adult Attachment Interview (AAI)
  • Child Attachment Interview
  • other psychological testing services
  • court appearances

Who can request psychological assessments?

Assessments can be requested by social workers, child protection teams, Guardian Ad Litem or the Court services. Individual requests are also welcomed.

Staff Team

The team is led by our Clinical Lead and Head of Unit Dr Calem De Búrca who can be contacted at

For more information please do not hesitate to contact us or download our Psychology Services PDF