Escalation of Concerns
Differences of opinion, concerns and issues can arise for practitioners at work and it is important they are resolved as effectively and swiftly as possible.
Having different professional perspectives within safeguarding practice is a sign of a healthy and well-functioning partnership. These differences of opinion are usually resolved by discussion and negotiation between the practitioners concerned. It is essential that where differences of opinion arise they do not adversely affect the outcomes for children, young people or adults and are resolved in a constructive and timely manner.
Differences could arise in a number of areas of multi-agency working as well as within single agency working.
Differences are most likely to arise in relation to:
- criteria for referrals
- outcomes of assessments
- roles and responsibilities of workers
- service provision
- timeliness of interventions
- information sharing and communication.
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and front-line staff need confidence in talking with each other about decisions that have been made, discussing any concerns regarding those decisions and where there isn’t agreement; escalating those concerns as appropriate.
Remember, equally important is the culture of how we work; and it is vital that front-line staff are encouraged to remain professionally curious and to raise issues where they feel that their concerns for children and young people aren’t being addressed.
To help staff resolve professional differences, the HSCP has issued a simple Escalation Policy.