What is a Parenting Capacity Assessment (PCA)?
An independent assessment when there is unresolved conflict between the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) and parents over supervision, placement, treatment planning, access arrangements, and/or child custody.
PCAs are designed to assist the Courts and CASs in making decisions for families that are in the best interests of the children. The psychologist gathers information about the needs of the child(ren), the parents’ ability to meet those needs, the parents’ ability to overcome presenting challenges, and supports and services in the community to answer referral questions and make recommendations. Even though the psychologist makes recommendations, final decisions about a child’s placement is up to the Courts.
Parenting Capacity Assessments is a service provided by LFCC’s new division, Navigating Onward (NavOn).
What is the process?
Even though PCAs are usually court-ordered, parents are required to provide consent to the assessment. PCAs take about 6 months and during that time parents are interviewed on several occasions and complete a psychological assessment, the psychologist meets with the children in their placement, several parent-child interactions are observed, and collateral documentation is reviewed from physicians, counsellors, police, and family and friends. The psychologist provides a report and meets with the parents at the end of the assessment to share recommendations in the report. A separate meeting is held with the CAS and sometimes the psychologist may attend Court to answer questions from the Judge.
What is the Cost?
Parenting Capacity Assessment services and pricing can be accessed through LFCC’s newest division, Navigating Onward (NavOn).