© Copyright ISBN 0 11 322426 5 HOME CONDITIONS 1a
Name of Child:
Relationship to child:
11. It will usually be unhelpful to share all that has been observed with the
caregiver. This could upset the establishment of partnership – a good
working relationship is of overriding importance. However the worker
needs to have a clear picture of the environment from the child’s point of
12. Individual items can be a focus for a piece of work. This might be to
encourage the parent to attend to something that could pose a health risk
to the children, or to bring in additional support where the parent is unlikely
to be able to improve matters unassisted.
Davie CE, Hutt SJ, Vincent E & Mason M (1984) The young child at home. NFERNelson,
1. Smell (e.g. stale cigarette smoke, rotting food) 0 1
2. Kitchen floor soiled, covered in bits, crumbs etc. 0 1
3. Floor covering in any other room soiled as above. 0 1
4. General decorative order poor – obviously in need of attention
(e.g. badly stained wall paper, broken windows) 0 1
5. Kitchen sink, draining board, work surfaces or cupboard door
have not been washed for a considerable period of time 0 1
6. Other surfaces in the house have not been dusted for a
considerable period of time 0 1
7. Cooking implements, cutlery or crockery showing ingrained dirt
and/or these items remain unwashed until they are needed again. 0 1
8. Lavatory, bath or basin showing ingrained dirt. 0 1
9. Furnishings or furniture soiled 0 1
10. Informant’s or children’s, clothing clearly unwashed, or hair
matted and unbrushed 0 1
11. Garden or yard uncared for and strewn with rubbish 0 1
HOME CONDITIONS ASSESSMENT
1. Social workers assess physical aspects of the home environment.
2. This scale may appear judgmental, but workers necessarily make
judgements about the safety, order and cleanliness of the place in which the
child lives. The use of a list helps the objectivity of observation.
3. The total score has been found to correlate highly with children’s abilities, so
that children from homes with low scores usually have better language and
intellectual development. This does not mean that all children from high
scoring homes will have poor intellectual progress.
4. Like all methods of assessment it should not be used in isolation – other
sources of information, including the quality of the parent-child relationship
will contribute to the overall assessment.
5. The assessment is identical to the Family Cleanliness Scale devised by Davie
and others (1984).
6. This is a list of 11 items to be observed during home visits.
7. Social presentation, namely the cleanliness of the children is included.
8. The scale if best used as a mental checklist to provide a framework for
9. It is particularly appropriate to use during initial assessment. Once used it is
a method of keeping track of progress or deterioration.
10. In order to be able to complete the scale it is necessary to look over the
home. The caregiver can be asked whether they have any problems with
their housing, or whether the nature of their accommodation causes
difficulties from the point of view of brining up the children. This can lead
naturally to a request to look round.
HOME CONDITIONS 1b