Ambient House is a residential parenting assessment centre,run by an independent company offering support to social workers, courts and the local authorities to assess and ensure the best child centered outcomes.

All about Us

Ambient House is an Ofsted registered, Residential Family Assessment Centre in Bognor Regis, West Sussex. Our Ofsted registration number is 1270100.

Ambient House provides a safe, calm and supportive environment for people who have had areas of concern identified regarding their ability to effectively and safely parent their child or children. We aim to support social workers, local authories and the courts by an indepth 12 week assessment programme.


We will teach, promote and assess parenting skills to ensure that children are safe, protected and thriving. We offer families an opportunity for intensive support to help them recognise the needs of their children.


Safeguarding vulnerable familes is our prime focus. The clarity of our assessments informs the referrer whether a child’s needs can be adequately met by its parents or whether there is a need for further intervention and alternative care arrangements are required to insure a secure longer term future for the child.


Our aim is to work closely with each disciplinary team member supporting the family who has been referred to our service. We aim to plan and provide the best possible care, to support better outcomes for the long-term future.


We further aim to provide families with a calm, pleasant and supporting environment to enable their learning and development to maximise the opportunity they've been offered and to quickly settle and focus on the care of their children without feeling overwhelmed.










 We work with a maximum of four families at any one time. This small number allows staff to work intensively with each family and to produce thorough, balanced and clear assessments that help ensure the best outcomes for children.


The Centre strives to offer an equal service to all family groups regardless of race, cultural background, religion, gender, sexual orientation, intellectual ability or family composition. However, given the layout of the building the Centre is not able to accept people who are unable to climb stairs.


Although all families are referred by Children’s Social Services Departments, families come by agreement or are directed to do so by the court. We recognise that the process of a residential parenting assessment is stressful and we do everything possible to be supportive, fair and open in the way we work with families. To complete a thorough assessment, placements will generally last twelve weeks. The length of placement is, however, subject to review: in exceptional circumstances, it can be extended or be terminated early if necessary.


Our highly trained staff will provide advice and skills to encourage newborn brain development, attachment, essential child care, nutrition, money management, promote healthy relationships and good self-esteem and much more. Our aim is to equip individuals with essential life skills to support the young parents in the aim of independent living.


Ambient House also works in partnership with outside agencies to ensure all our famlies needs are met.


The Assessment Process

Our Team






Georgina Puttock BSc(hons)

During an NHS career spanning 11 years, Georgina worked as an Adult Nurse and a  midwife. The last 3 years of this career Georgina specialised as a  ‘Young parents’ midwife’ which was predominately working with parents under 19 years of age and vulnerable parents. The experience in this field fueled a passion about opening a residential parenting assessment unit in West Sussex and filling a gap in the local service. As a midwife, Georgina has supported the local authority child care services by, identifying risks, producing reports and referrals, attending child protection conferences and offered support. Georgina was also part of a team running a young parents’ group, teaching, observing and planning sessions. Georgina also has experience of delivery staff training and mentorship.

Rebecca Arman

Rebecca qualified as a Social Worker, in 2014, from the University of Chichester. During her degree, she spent two years working in a local domestic abuse refuge with women and children fleeing abuse.  Rebecca spent a year working in a local authority child looked after team. In addition to her degree, Rebecca has also qualified in Achieving Best Evidence for police interviews. Since qualifying, Rebecca has worked as a Specialist Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) practitioner and a guest lecturer/trainer in CSE, sexual violence and social work. Rebecca has also written a chapter in an academic child sexual exploitation book which will be published in 2017/18.



At Ambient House we rely on the experience and knowledge of our diverse staff team of family support workers to nurture, guide and educate the families that come in to our care.


All of the families that come in to Ambient House will have a Family Support Worker allocated to them, this allows for a constant point of contact in the unit. To ensure this happens Ambient House Family support Workers will never have more than two families on their case load.



Interested in joining our team? please send your CV to or contact us below.



The purpose of an Ambient House Parenting Assessment is to produce a detailed, assessment designed to assess and identify a parent’s strengths and capacity to protect their child or children from risk and harm, as well as the parent’s ability to enhance their child’s developmental experiences. The assessment relies on information gathered from the child, parent(s) and extended family and professional network.


Other people and professionals may be consulted and other sources of information may be included in this assessment.  This may include Health professionals, Core Group members, Historical and current information held within Social Care records to ensure a robust and clear multi-agency approach. The parent/s will be notified of this where appropriate.


Ambient House Parenting Assessment focuses on identifying strengths and worries in relation to three key areas which are based on the Common Assessment Framework:

• The Child’s developmental needs

• Parenting capacity

• Family and environmental factors


The Ambient House Parenting Assessment will include the following methods of assessments:


• Observations of both parent and child that will generate placement plans and reports will be at minimum intervals of: Initial, 1 week, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 9 weeks, 12 weeks (to be agreed with Parent’s social worker).

• Interviewing parents.

• Direct work with parent. As part of the direct work Parent’s may be given “homework” in the form of tasks, targets or reflections to complete.

• Interview and direct work with child (where appropriate).


Ambient House will take into consideration parent’s ability to learn and the outcomes of any external assessments of the parent’s cognitive abilities and therefore tailor the assessment appropriately to ensure the best opportunity for affecting change in parent.


Formal observations, interviews and direct work sessions will take place at a variety of times, settings (where appropriate) to ensure a holistic picture of parent’s strengths and worries. Ambient house will also include anything of relevance that takes place outside of the formal observations, interviews and direct work settings to form part of the Ambient House Parenting Assessment.





Initial referrals can be made to the Centre Director or Centre Manager, from any local authorities that have signed the Service Level Agreement. The referral is acknowledged by the Manager. The referring Social Worker must complete all aspects of details on the referral form.

The Manager is responsible for prioritising family admissions.

Ambient House would prefer family placements to be well planned and where possible, the family visits the Centre to discuss the proposed placement with a Senior member of staff.  This provides an opportunity to meet their key worker/s and a discussion about key issues for the assessment can take place. An admission date is then set. Whenever possible we aim to undertake a pre-placement assessment and to discuss and sign a placement plan. If a pre-placement meeting is not an option, this will all be conducted on arrival.

Each family is allocated one key worker and one senior member of staff to co-ordinate their work plan.  The work of the key workers and the overall implementation of the work plan, based on the Family Placement Plan, will in turn be overseen by a senior member of staff (Case Manager).

The Case Manager will be responsible for producing reports and chair review meetings. The centre's Manager or Social worker is responsible for producing the centre’s final report and attend Court to give evidence as necessary.


Referral criteria:


  •   Both mothers and fathers, either separately or together.
  •   Pregnant women with or without other children, where safeguarding concerns have already been identified by the local authority
  •   Families where abuse, maltreatment is alleged, suspected or known to have occurred
  •   Families where the child/ren are at risk of significant harm.
  •   Vulnerable young and teenager parents.
  •   Parents with mental health problems on a case to case basis.
  •   Parents who have a learning disability.
  •   Parents who misuse alcohol or substances on a case to case basis.
  •  Single-parent or two-parent families where there is a concern about parenting capacity and decisions need to be made about the future care of the child/children.
  •  Parents with a child/ren under 5 years of age.
  •   Children who are looked after children or Parents that area care leavers.
  •  Ambient House will consider those families who are actively and seriously engaged in rehabilitation/therapy programme's providing that they have nearly completed their treatment and there is a clear treatment programme and a partnership approach between the parents, the specialist services and Ambient House.
  •   Parent fearing domestic abuse where, parenting ability is in question.
  •   Families where English are not their first language.


Ambient House is not suitable for:

  •   Schedule 1 Offenders.
  •   Parents/carers who exhibit extreme violence or aggression to another adults or children.
  •   Frequent and persistent solvent/drug abusers.
  •   Frequent and persistent alcohol abusers.


The Manager has the final decision on the suitability of referrals, taking account of the needs of other adults and children in the house. For further information please contact us.




Ambient House Charitable Trust

Charity Number 1176366

Ambient House Charitable Trust has been established to continue the  work started with the families that have completed its parenting assessment programme.


The main aim of our trust is to provide support with:

  • The advancement of Education.
  • Financial assistance in the form of grants towards safe housing, baby equipment, furniture etc



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