Top Tips for Managing Risk
Asking the right questions: Professor Eileen Munro, in her work, ‘Effective Child Protection’ states that in order to manage risk, there is a need to identify:
- What has been happening
- What is happening now
- What might happen
- How likely it is
- How serious it would be
- A combination of seriousness and likelihood leading to an overall judgement of risk
Appropriate interventions: An assessment should underpin professional judgements to inform and agree the level and type of intervention that is most appropriate for children/young people at risk.
Risk on a continuum: Assessment of risk can only be comprehensive if it considers both past and present in order to identify future risks to a child or young person. An assessment is an ongoing process, not a one-off event.
No delay: Interventions should not be delayed until the end of an assessment but should be determined according to what is required to ensure a child or young person’s safety, taking account of any indications of accelerated risks and warning signs.
Risk Assessment Tools - not ends in themselves: Risk assessment matrices and checklists can be helpful in guiding understanding, but they cannot be absolutely relied upon to provide definitive answers to levels of risks faced by children.
Good risk assessments: They construct a coherent story about the child’s circumstances; they appreciate that there will be ambiguity and uncertainty about some matters; they have been constructed through the testing of hypotheses and a curiosity that sees people in their contexts; they are considered and thoughtful and finally they allow for and enable change.
Haringey Thresholds: Children's Needs & Professional Intervention
In order to be able to respond to and refer on concerns appropriately, professionals need to be able to assess thresholds:
Haringey SCP Threshold Guide (Updated march 2022) - (418kb PDF)
If a child or young person has additional needs, they may require additional support to stop things escalating and becoming more serious.
For more information, contact the Early Help team directly on 020 8489 5814 or email email@example.com
Early Help referrals should be sent to EHreferral@haringey.gov.uk
Statutory Social Care Intervention
Threshold for Child Protection (S.47)
The Children Act 1989 sets out in detail what local authorities and the courts should do to protect the welfare of children. Local authorities are charged with the "duty to investigate if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives, or is found in their area, is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm" (Section 47, Children Act 1989).
Threshold for Children in Need (S.17)
Local authorities are charged with a duty to provide "services for children in need, their families and others".
Children in need are defined as children who are aged under 18 and:
- need local authority services to achieve or maintain a reasonable standard of health or development
- need local authority services to prevent significant or further harm to health or development
- are disabled
Children in Care and Care Orders
- Voluntary Care Order (S.20): Some children are looked after by the Local Authority by agreement with, or at the request of, their parents. Under Section 20 of the Children Act, it is the duty of all Local Authorities to make accommodation available for such children in need. Children may be accommodated (in residential or foster care) for a short or longer period. No court proceedings are involved, and the parents retain full parental responsibility, and can remove their children from care at any time.
- Care Order (S.33): A long-term order which commits the child to the care of the local authority. It provides extensive powers to local authorities but requires evidence which demonstrates to the court that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm and that the harm or likelihood of harm is attributable to a lack of adequate parental care or control
- Interim Care / Supervision Order (S.38): Orders made pending a full hearing of the application for a care order (S.33). An initial interim order cannot last longer than 8 weeks. Subsequent interim orders cannot last longer than 4 weeks.
- Emergency Protection Order (S.44): A short-term order (up to 8 days) which either removes the child on a short-term basis or allows the child to be kept in a place of safety or requires an alleged abuser to leave the family home. The grounds for the emergency protection order are much easier to prove.
- Removal and Accommodation of Children by Police (S.46): A short-term measure (72 hours) where no court order is necessary for the police to implement this power which enables the police to remove the child or to keep the child in a safe place.