What should you do when there is a professional disagreement about a child?
Occasionally situations arise where professional disagreements occur. Disagreements can be healthy and foster creative ways of working with children and their families. However, disagreements can also impact negatively on positive working relationships and consequently on the ability to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Disagreements always require resolution.
The child’s safety and wellbeing must be the paramount consideration at all times and professional differences must not distract from timely and clear decision making. All professionals working with children and families have a duty to act assertively and proactively to ensure that the child’s welfare is seen as a priority at all levels of professional activity, as outlined in Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2015 (PDF 1.6MB) and the Pan London Child Protection Procedures (5th Edition).
Redbridge Local Safeguarding Children Board developed an Escalation and Resolution Policy (PDF 538KB)to ensure that all agencies working within Redbridge (including Health, Education, Housing, Children’s Social Care, Adult Services, Probation, Police and third sector organisations), have access to a straight forward multi-agency policy to quickly resolve and where necessary escalate professional differences where there are concerns that the welfare and safety of children and young people are at risk of being compromised.
The aim of this policy is to promote a culture of partnership working, whereby all agencies working with children, young people and their families feel confident, able and supported to address concerns in situations where there are differences in professional judgements around the response to the well-being and safety of children and young people.