Resolution of Professional Disagreements in Work
Relating to the Safety of Children
1.Professionals providing services to children and their families should work cooperatively across all agencies, using their skills and experience to make a robust contribution to safeguarding children and promoting their welfare within the framework of discussions, meetings, conferences and case management. Occasionally situations arise when a worker within one agency feels that a decision made by a worker from another agency on a child protection or child in need case is not a safe decision. Disagreements could arise in a number of areas, but are most likely to arise around:
- Levels of need
- Roles and responsibilities
- The need for action
2.The safety of children is the paramount consideration in any professional disagreement and any unresolved issues should be addressed with due consideration to the risks that might exist for that child.
3.All workers should feel able to challenge decision making and to see this as their right and responsibility in order to promote the best multi agency safeguarding practice. This policy provides workers with the means to raise concerns they have about decisions made by other professionals or agencies by:
- Avoiding professional disputes that put children at risk or obscure the focus on the child
- Resolving the difficulties within and between agencies quickly and openly
- Identifying problems in working together where there is a lack of clarity and to promote the resolution via amendment to protocols and procedures
4.Effective working together depends on an open approach and honest relationships between agencies. Problem resolution is an integral part of professional co-operation and joint working to safeguard children and young people.
5.Resolution should be sought within the shortest possible timescale to ensure the child is protected. Disagreements should be resolved at the lowest possible stage. However, if a child is thought to be at risk of immediate harm, discretion should be used as to which stage is initiated.
Occasionally situations arise when workers within one agency feel that a decision made by a worker from another agency, about a child or young person, is not a safe decision, problem resolution is an integral part of working together to safeguard children. Disagreements should be resolved at the lowest possible stage and within the shortest timescale possible to ensure the child is protected. If a child is thought to be at risk of immediate harm, discretion should be used as to which stage is initiated. This form is to be used at stage 2 and at each further stage of the escalation policy.