Living Assessments WP2 uses oral testimonies to find out about the experiences and concerns people have had about the two assessments of children. This will shed further light on how forms of measurement have been enacted to identify children’s health needs in welfare contexts, and how thresholds have operated for provision in response to these measurements.
Living Assessments WP2 explores:
The participants’ affects and evaluations as well as their descriptions, as a way of tracking heterogeneity and aspects of best practice within their accounts of assessments.
The script-like or performative aspects of assessment practices, the roles that are negotiated, and the moral and cultural dimensions of this process. For instance, the way children may interpret assessments of their needs in relation to their experiences of test-based assessment in education.
Prior to the Living Assessments project, a pilot research was conducted with 14 children who had experienced relevant assessments. This highlighted the way that the process of being measured by welfare professionals for their health needs could make them feel ‘like a thing to be put against a list and ticked off. Not like a person.’ There was a sense of resignation and defeatism that characterised their accounts of these assessments.
Living Assessments WP2 involves:
50 oral histories based on questions arising from Living Assessments WP1, with individuals who experienced assessment as children, their families/carers, assessors, safeguarding and disability leads within primary care, and policy-makers.
A further 50 oral histories of children and their families who have experienced one of the two assessments at the heart of the Living Assessments project.
Witness seminars with professionals and policy leaders as a third group.
Whereas Living Assessments WP1 focuses on public discourses, Living Assessments WP2 focuses on personal testimonies, each designed to shed light on the other. Living Assessments WP2 examines agreement and discrepancies between testimonies of personal experiences and service-level discourses and provision (Living Assessments WP3). Experiences and concerns raised in Living Assessments WP2 are central to guiding the action research in Living Assessments WP4, and an important resource for expanding the moral imagination of policy discussions of children, families and those who assess them.
EbyE groups will co-develop the questions and prompts for the oral testimonies. Guidance in decisions about recruitment and in interpreting findings from Living Assessments WP2 will be provided by EbyE and by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children, as well as NCB colleagues. The Living Assessments Poet-in-Residence will work with Living Assessments WP2 transcripts to produce original work.