Assessments of therapeutic need for adopted children

We undertake psychological assessments, which we sometimes also call ‘assessments of therapeutic need’, to help us understand more about the child or young person and their needs, including how they fit in and interact with their family. These assessments also help to inform the direction of therapy we plan to take.

Why are assessments important?

Psychological assessments are really important, and we try to make sure that most of the children or young people we see are given this service. That’s because they help to ensure that we put the most appropriate therapeutic plan in place and give us an in-depth understanding of the situation.

If our work with a child is being funded by the Adoption and Special Guardianship Support Fund, a psychological assessment may be required as a part of the agreed package of work.

Our assessment methods

Our clinical team are highly experienced in a variety of different assessment methods. We will typically use a number of different assessment measures to gain insight into the situation and these will always be tailored to the child or young person’s age, experiences and current situation. Depending on the work required, we may also undertake observations in a home or school environment.

Our assessments usually involve questionnaires, activities, discussion, observation and discussion with other professionals involved (e.g. social workers and teachers).

Psychological assessments and the Adoption Support Fund

If a child or family is accessing support funded by the Adoption and Special Guardianship Support Fund, an assessment of therapeutic need might be required before a package of therapeutic support takes place.

Our psychological assessment fee structure falls into the assessment Fair Access Limits for adopted children. If your Local Authority or Regional Adoption Agency would like to commission an assessment, please contact us and we will provide a quote.


Local Authorities and Regional Adoption Agencies can refer children and young people for an assessment of therapeutic need. Please contact us about the situation, providing as much detail as possible. We will get back to you with more information about working with us. We will provide you with a formal quote.

Please note that we require fully approved ASGSF funding and a purchase order before starting work with your client.

From start to finish, we aim to complete our assessments of therapeutic need within 3 months from the time we receive a “go-ahead” (usually from the Local Authority). Of course, this also depends on the nature and scope of the assessment.

Please note that this time includes arranging observations, liaising with professionals and report writing, as well as the time spent ‘in the room’ with your clinician. Timings can also be impacted by funding delays, difficulties with making appointments with third parties (like schools) and how regularly we see you.

After an assessment of therapeutic need has been completed, we will deliver an assessment report to the parents and to the social worker. This will include the recommendations for further work.

If the family wish to attend Gateway for the recommendations, please bear in mind that this is dependent on the package of work agreed (particularly if the work is funded by the ASGSF or Local Authority).

We will try to begin therapy as soon as possible, but please note that timings can be impacted by funding delays or our internal capacity, which we don’t have control over.

Yes, psychological assessments are quite different to therapy.

The goal of assessments is to find out more about the situation and to understand the needs of the child or young person. On the other hand, therapy is designed to help the child or young person (and the family) work through the difficulties they may be experiencing, usually identified as a result of the assessment.

Therapeutic interventions and assessments may be accessible through your Local Authority or Regional Adoption Agency if you are an adoptive parent or special guardian. These are often funded under the Adoption Support and Special Guardianship Fund. You will need to speak with your post-adoption social worker to discuss this.

We are a registered Adoption Support Agency and regularly provide trauma-informed therapeutic interventions and complex psychological assessments. As such, we are inspected by Ofsted for our work with adoptive families.