Risk Assessments for Child Adoption & Fostering Agencies / Social Services / School Dog Assessments

As respected animal behaviour experts, full members of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) have been called upon by a number of child adoption and fostering agencies to assess the animals of potential adoptive parents or foster carers. This demand has resulted in the development of a standard protocol by the APBC, which is implemented by a registered network of participating APBC members. The service is designed primarily for dogs, but may also be applied to other animals.

As a full member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) and a registered participant for this service, I am able to assess the behaviour and temperament of animals whose owners are applying to adopt or foster a child. A similar service can be applied for social services risk assessments. I then prepare a detailed report which is sent to the agency requesting the assessment, so that this can be presented to the court.

The assessment process involves:

  • A home visit lasting approximately 2.5 hours

 A report is then sent to the agency requesting the assessment, to include:

  • Owner experience and relationship with the animal(s)
  • Exposure and behaviour in social situations, training background and health issues
  • Practical home considerations
  • Temperament and behaviour with household members, visitors, general public and children of various age groups
  • A professional opinion on any risks these animals present to children
  • Advice regarding the introduction of children and animals

I am also able to conduct a behaviour, risk and welfare assessment for dogs being considered for a school or therapy-based role.

The cost for this service is £395 based on a single dog, plus travel fees incurred. Please contact me for a quote for other species or for multi-dog households.


By combining extensive experience and sound scientific knowledge, I provide the following services.

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Animal behaviour consultations

Animal behaviour consultations address issues including anxieties, fears, phobias, frustration, aggression, separation-related issues, house soiling and repetitive behaviour. I provide dog behaviour, cat behaviour and rabbit behaviour consultations.

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Behaviour referral service for Veterinary Surgeons

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Animal behaviour assessments & reports for child adoption or fostering agencies / Social Services / School Dog Assessments

If animal owners are applying to adopt or foster a child, or on referral from agencies or social services, I assess the behaviour and temperament of animals within the home.

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Animal behaviour or welfare expert witness services

I provide criminal or civil act expert witness services, to include a report-based unbiased expert opinion concerning the behaviour or welfare of domesticated dogs, cats or rabbits. I also attend court where necessary.

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Peer-reviewed published articles

I have written animal behaviour articles which have been peer-reviewed and published.

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Teaching and supervision

For those working towards clinical animal behaviourist accreditation, I provide regular teaching and supervision opportunities.

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