Current risk assessment highlights the fact that it is made at a point in time and it is therefore limited and will require modification as further information comes to light.
Your risk assessment should address the following key questions:
- Is this child/young person safe?
- How is this child/young person developing?
- Given all the information you have gathered, how do you make sense of it? Consider the vulnerability of the child and the severity of the harm:
- What harm has happened to this child in the past?
- What is happening to this child now?
- What is the likelihood of the child being harmed in the future if nothing changes? Hold in mind the strengths and protective factors for the child and family.
- What is the impact on this child’s safety and development, of the harm that has occurred, or is likely to occur?
- Can the parents hold the child in mind and prioritise the child’s safety and developmental needs over their own wants and constraints?
- From the point of view of each child and family member, what needs to change to enable safety, stability and healthy development of the children?
- If the circumstances were improved within the family, what would you notice was different – what would there be more of? What would there be less of? Who would notice?
For greater detail on risk assessment, go to see DHHS Best interests case practice model, pg. 31-33. [i]
[i] Department of Health and Human Services, Best interests case practice model pgs. 31-33, http://www.cpmanual.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/Best%20interests%20case%20practice%20model%20summary%20guide%202012%203002.pdf