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Assessment Critique – Does the Report Measure up?

November 1, 2017

I reviewed two assessments recently. One was from a lawyer seeking to defend a client who was subject to the report and the other by the author of the report seeking to be sure nothing had been missed in the writing of the report. Both were from persons far outside of my jurisdiction.

The reports were striking in their differences.

The report provided by the author was clearly structured. It provided clear headings and the information provided under each heading clearly matched the heading. This report also provided a great deal of data from a multiple sources. It was clear as to which data was obtained from which source. Given the multitude of sources and complexity of the data reported there was conflicting information presented.

The writer discussed all the data, the inconsistencies and advised as to why more weight would be provided some information over other information.

In the discussion and conclusion, the author referenced key sources of social science research to support the assignment of different weight given to conflicting information and also weight to decisions affecting the recommendations.

In the end, the recommendations were clearly supported and made sense in view of all the data and social science research. I could only offer a few minor observations to strengthen the report.

The other report I reviewed just didn’t match the prior and will provide ample opportunity for challenge at court. While generally I would agree with the recommendations even in view of the deficiencies of the report, there were enough deficiencies that a court battle could ensue.

I offered this person some alternate considerations to peacefully find a solution in view of the deficiencies but with an understanding that given the issues, the report will likely not be tossed in its entirety and will still remain influential. Be realistic, nudge the recommendations as may be possible with guidance provided, but be prepared that the recommendations could still stand.

The goal of both reports is to provide guidance to the persons involved as well as to the court. The persons involved may be able to find a solution to their issues between themselves and preclude the necessity of court, based on the recommendations. If a solution is not found between the persons involved, then the court must rely upon the assessments as least to some extent.

Hopefully my feedback will help move things forward in a positive direction.

Please note, I only provide verbal feedback with regard to the quality or issues of the report. I am not a hired gun where one party can bring me on board to shoot down the other party. I do not write a report for court purposes and nor will I go to court on these matters. Review, critique and feedback provided is given in the interest of facilitating a peaceful settlement.

Please see my web page discussing my approach to assessment critiques for interest in this service.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
http://www.yoursocialworker.com

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

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