What is the nature of a risk assessment?

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

The following excerpt is from Newfoundland (Director of Child, Youth and Family Services) v. C.V., 2007 CanLII 40691 (NL PC):

[27] The Director presented, as part of its evidence, a “risk assessment” prepared by a social worker involved in this matter. In Director of Child, Youth and Family Services v. A.O. (2006), 151 A.C.W.S. (3d) 617, I described the nature of such assessments in the following manner: The assessment includes such topics as “parental influence; child influence, family influence and maltreatment.” These various topics have numerous sub-headings. For instance, under “parental influence”, such headings as “maltreatment [by] parent; “alcohol or drug use” and “parental acceptance of child” are included. For each heading the author describes in summary form the information which suggests that a risk does or does not exist. That subject is then given a score and a risk assessment reached… Very little evidence was proffered to establish the reliability of this assessment.

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