Barnardos is needs-led and outcomes-focused
in our approach to service delivery, thus ensuring that we provide the service that is most responsive to the families' needs. This is evident in our assessment process and in the
outcomes we aim to achieve for children.
Assessment frameworks such as the Irish Assessment Framework (Buckley et al., 2006), the UK Framework for
Assessment (Department of Health et al., 2000) and the
Common Assessment Framework (Every Child Matters, 2006)
provide a common language about the needs of children
which helps with the prioritisation of outcomes.
The Barnardos Assessment Framework (BAF) complements
other assessment frameworks by encompassing a “whole
child” approach whilst considering the strengths of families
and the ability of parents to address their children’s needs. BAF is a visually straightforward framework with a spatial
element to the design of its forms. It allows for flexibility in
gathering information to ensure a holistic view of the child’s
situation and needs.
The aim of BAF is to highlight needs, in order to achieve
the best outcomes for children and young people through
successful services. BAF enhances and complements the
professional training and skills of staff and strengthens
existing quality practice with children and their families.
Information gathered in the assessment is recorded in a
concise way that enhances clarity and leads to LESS writing
and MORE meaningful analysis by workers.
BAF supports workers to clearly record, consider and analyse
information on the history of a family, while keeping the
child’s safety and healthy development at the centre of the
work. The framework assists staff in working with children
and families in terms of gathering a clear picture of their
strengths and needs, what outcomes they want to achieve
and planning what services will be most successful and
The design of the framework enhances a holistic view of the
child. Seeing their histories in a visual, spatial format can help
families in making connections between events and reactions
in the life of the family and highlight the potential positive
and negative effects of these events on their child.
This document provides background information on
assessment and outlines the steps involved in the BAF
process. It defines the key concepts of needs, outcomes
and services and outlines the core principles of assessment.
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