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MEP learning pack

Masters in Educational Practice: Special educational needs and inclusion learning pack


Impact of the environment


The impact of the child’s home environment

Environmental factors are key factors in assessing children that may be in need and their families. These environmental factors can have a bearing on children and young people’s effective learning in school.

A critical task is to ascertain with the family whether a child is in need and how that child and family might best be helped. The effectiveness with which a child’s needs are assessed will be key to the effectiveness of subsequent actions and services and, ultimately, to the outcomes for the child.

(Welsh Assembly Government, 2001)

Assessment areas that local authorities always consider in consultation with schools, if the child is of school age, (and other agencies such as health) are as follows:

  • Local authorities always consider the child’s developmental needs, in the following areas:
    • health
    • education
    • emotional and behavioural development
    • identity
    • family and social
    • relationships
    • social presentation
    • self-care skills.
  • Local authorities always consider parenting capacity, focusing on the following areas:
    • basic care
    • ensuring safety
    • emotional warmth
    • stimulation
    • guidance and boundaries.
    • stability.
  • Local authorities always consider family and environmental factors, considering issues in the following areas:
    • family history and functioning
    • wider family
    • housing
    • employment
    • income
    • family’s social integration
    • community resources.

Activity 2.5.1

This activity invites you to consider the 'Framework for Assessment for Children in Need and their Families' in the context of Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model. What are the similarities? Map the similarities between the 'Framework for Assessment for Children in Need' and Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model.

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