Isle of Man SCB Logo


Top of page

Size: View this website with small text View this website with medium text View this website with large text View this website with high visibility

9.2 Escalation of Concerns

Contents

  1. Purpose of Protocol
  2. Action Where a Child is Perceived to be at Risk of Harm
  3. Action Where there is Strong Disagreement about the Planning and Decision Making for a Child
  4. Action Where there are More General Concerns about an Agency’s Response to Matters Raised by Another Agency
  5. For the Attention of the Safeguarding Children Board


1. Purpose of Protocol

1.1

To provide guidance for professionals on the action they should take in the following situations when they believe a child, or children, are vulnerable:

  • Where they believe a child remains at risk of Significant Harm following a referral they have made;
  • Where they have an inter-agency role and strongly disagree with the planning and decision making for a child;
  • Where there are serious general issues between two agencies.
1.2 This Protocol does not affect or undermine the statutory responsibilities of individual organisations but provides a mechanism for resolving significant concerns or conflict.


2. Action Where a Child is Perceived to be at Risk of Harm

2.1 Any professional making a referral to another agency must ensure that their referral provides all available relevant information and states the reason for the referral. Any perceived risk to a child should be explicitly stated and described.
2.2

In the event that the referrer is not satisfied with the action taken on the referral they must take the following steps:

  • Stage One

Discuss the case with the person who received the initial referral (or if they are not available, with their manager) to ensure that the weight of concern had been properly understood and that there is no additional information required.

  • Stage Two

If it is not possible to agree a mutually satisfactory outcome and the referrer remains concerned they must discuss the matter with their manager and take their advice. If their manager shares their concerns, that manager will contact a manager of similar seniority in the agency receiving the referral and seek a satisfactory resolution.

  • Stage Three

If it is still not possible to resolve the matter, and the referring agency remains concerned about the risk to a child, the referring agency can request that an inter-agency Strategy Meeting be convened, to consider the information available and make an inter-agency decision on whether or not any action is required to protect the child.

NB: If there is any concern that a child is in immediate risk of harm the above process must be expedited urgently.


3. Action Where there is Strong Disagreement about the Planning and Decision Making for a Child

3.1

In a situation where a professional is part of a multi-agency decision making process and strongly disagrees with an agreed plan and/or decision they must take the following steps:

  • Stage One

Discuss the case with the person responsible for the planning/decision making (or, if they are not available, with their manager) to ensure that the weight of concern had been properly understood and that there is no additional information required.

  • Stage Two

If it is not possible to agree a mutually satisfactory outcome and the professional remains concerned they must discuss the matter with their manager and take their advice.  If their manager shares their concerns, that manager will contact a manager of similar seniority in the other agency and seek a satisfactory resolution.

  • Stage Three

If it is still not possible to resolve the matter, and the concerns remain, the contested issue should be taken up the management line of each agency until it can be resolved satisfactorily in a manner promoting best practice and effective inter-agency working.

NB: If there is any concern that a child is in immediate risk of harm the above process must be expedited urgently.


4. Action Where there are More General Concerns about an Agency’s Response to Matters Raised by Another Agency

4.1 There are situations, sometimes unrelated to a particular child or family, where more general concerns about practice impair or inhibit an effective working relationship between two agencies. Managers in each of the agencies involved should deal with any such instances by discussing their issues and concerns openly and positively seeking a resolution. If it is not possible to resolve the matter, and the concerns remain, the contested issue should be taken up the management line of each agency until it can be resolved satisfactorily in a manner promoting best practice and effective interagency working.


5. For the Attention of the Safeguarding Children Board

5.1 If there are situations where the SCB policies, procedures and guidance are found to be unclear or ambiguous this should be brought to the attention of the Board.  
5.2 If areas of practice are identified where additional SCB guidance or training would be useful, these too should be brought to the attention of the SCB.

End