Using Risk Assessment Tools in Protecting Children: the search for the magic wand

The Munro Report into Child Protection recommended a less proscriptive approach to procedures involved in both the guidelines to identification of risk and assessment of the degree and impact of risk on a child.  The response of Government has been to radically reduce the scope and format of Working Together to Safeguard Children and the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families;  two seminal documents used by child protection staff. Munro’s report also emphasised the centrality of the ‘professional judgement’ of staff in decision making and the significance of analysis of information in making decisions.  But this new found ‘freedom’ in practice brings with it its own professional dilemmas. On what tools are child protection professionals to rely in exercising their professional judgement and analysis in determining the best course of action to take securing the best outcome for children at risk?
This one-day workshop will draw on the recently published Systematic Review of Models of Analysing Significant Harm (DfE March 2012) to discuss what tools appear to be most effective and consistent in identifying and acting on risk but will also critically examine the use of objective criteria and the role of evidence in child protection work.