What to expect?
What is a Child Safety Decision-Making Model?
Why are there 4 different types of assessments?
How can you implement assessment outcomes?
How do you close, appeal and review responses?
Do you work for an organisation?
Do we care about people?
Do we care about you?
What are the principles behind response strategies?
Do you want to keep learning?

What are the steps of an assessment?

Each assessment follows the same three steps.  

  1. Plan & Gather
  2. Analyse
  3. Outcome Decision

Plan & Gather Information

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!

Benjamin Franklin


Planning for an assessment provides the opportunity to review the Child Safety Concern, choose the aims and objectives of the assessment, and determine what information needs to be gathered. The following questions assist with the creation of an assessment plan.

  • Why am I gathering information?
  • What to gather? The information to gather, such as documents, peoples accounts, impact stories. 
  • How to gather? How to gather the required information.  How to gather the documents, how to gather peoples accounts such as interviewing styles.
  • Who to gather?  Skill set of the person to gather the information.

Gather the Information

It is now time to gather the information that you decided that you need during the time of planning. Gathering the information, may involve the collection of documents or speaking with people, such as parents, students, workers, volunteers, and leaders.

During this stage, information may lead you to briefly return to the planning stage, to collect further information.

You need to remember that you are gather personal information about people. So you should consider applying the Goldilocks principle. You need to gather enough information to guide your organisation to make sound decisions, but you do not want to gather too much information, due to time, cost and privacy issues.

Beware of the trap of wanting to know everything, or even wanting to know everything about a specific event.  Some things will never be known, and you may cause harm to an individual child or overstep your authority in the process.  

The better question is, ‘do I have enough information to make a decision about the specific aspect, safety, misconduct and impact?’


Analyse the gathered information. You need to determine its relevance and weigh for the outcome of the assessment. Not all information that you gather will be relevant for the purpose of your assessment and some the pieces of information will be weightier than others (increased influence of the final outcome).

Outcome Decision

After you have analysed the gathered information, it is time to make an decision in line with the purpose of the assessment.