The benefits of using the Risk Model:

  • Social workers and managers report increased clarity and confidence in decision making.

  • Social workers report an improvement in their credibility in multi agency meetings and Court settings.

  • Senior Managers report improved consistency and quality of decision making across the organisation.

  • Senior Managers were reassured that the risk of significant harm was being routinely and regularly assessed and a progressive approach to managing risk was in place.

  • Safeguarding Boards sponsored joint implementation training which has led to other agencies using the tools. This has enhanced assessment (including CAF), improved referrals to Children’s Social Care and clarified thresholds across agencies.

  • Senior Managers observe the increased public and regulatory credibility of their service.

  • Child Protection Conference Chairs commented on the improved quality of risk assessment.

Comments from customers:

“Our Children’s Services uses the risk model as part of a set of assessment tools. It has proved useful in practice for assessments in safeguarding and court work. Social workers and managers have found increased confidence and consistency in decision making. It also provides a standardised tool for recording the evidence base for assessments which presents well to managers and other agencies.”

Head of Safeguarding Support, Liverpool City Council.

“The Risk Model offers us a structured approach to our threshold decisions. It supports front line practice, with social workers reporting greater confidence in decision making using their professional opinion. Embedding this continues to be a challenge. Integrating Risk 1 into other processes, in particular supervision made a huge difference. The model promotes safeguarding for individual children and also reassures me that the risk of significant harm is being managed across the whole service.”

Head of Children Services, Gwynedd Council.

Safeguarding officers who chair Child Protection Conferences indicate that where this new risk assessment tool is used, the quality of work is good with risks clearly identified.”

Ofsted 2011

“I have found them immensely useful in identifying and analysing both potential risk factors and also positive aspects of families. I will unquestionably continue using these assessments as an efficient and effective tool in gathering and investigating information that supports me with safeguarding and protecting children from significant harm.”

Social Worker, Cheshire West and Chester Council.