What is Effective Risk Management?
The Institute of Risk Management defines risk as "The combination of the probability of an event and its consequence. Consequences can range from positive to negative." All organisations have objectives at strategic, tactical and operational levels - anything that makes achieving these objectives uncertain is a risk. As our world becomes increasingly volatile and unpredictable, we must cope with greater uncertainty.
Risk management is the systematic process of understanding, evaluating and addressing these risks to maximise the chances of objectives being achieved and ensuring organisations, individuals and communities are sustainable. Risk management also exploits the opportunities uncertainty brings, allowing organisations to be aware of new possibilities. Essentially, effective risk management requires an informed understanding of relevant risks, an assessment of their relative priority and a rigorous approach to monitoring and controlling them.
Working Together Should Mean "Working Together"!
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013 states "Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who works with children - including teachers, GPs, nurses, midwives, health visitors, early years professionals, youth workers, police, Accident and Emergency staff, paediatricians, voluntary and community workers and social workers - has a responsibility for keeping them safe."
No single professional can have a full picture of a child’s needs and circumstances and, if children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.
In order that organisations and practitioners collaborate effectively, it is vital that every individual working with children and families is aware of the role that they have to play and the role of other professionals. In addition, effective safeguarding requires clear local arrangements for collaboration between professionals and agencies.
For the first time all agencies can truly collaborate to protect children. ShieldCPS provides you with an effective risk management system that will deliver an effective safeguarding service. All universal services and children's services can share an intuitive single file system.
2. Always Available
ShieldCPS lays dormant until it is needed and is available pre-birth and from then on provides for through life risk management. Agencies can instantly access or raise a case, using any IT client, following an identified concern being raised. This, and the following screenshots, are taken from Blake Fowler's case study. Blake's story started pre-birth, when maternity staff judged his mother to be vulnerable due to homelessness. ShieldCPS would have allowed them to raise the assessment.
ShieldCPS template consists of 20 Dimensions within which there are 268 pre-populated risks. ShieldCPS' powerful search facility allows the user to easily navigate to any area of the assessment. Simply enter a key search word or phrase and choose from the results. Selecting the desired result will take you immediately to that area of the assessment. Here, maternity staff searched 'Homelessness' which is the reason why the expectant mother was declared a vulnerable adult.
4. Add Causes
The Add Cause function allows the user to add the 'reason' for the concern. Simply click/tap on Add Cause from the menu bar and the topic is added to the assessment. Here maternity staff, using free text, would have simply entered the detail.
5. Add Incidents
The Add Incident function allows the user to add the possible harm that may result from the relationship between the Risk and the Cause. Simply click/tap on Add Incident from the menu bar and the topic is added to the assessment. Here maternity staff, using free text, would have simply entered the detail.
Simplified management functions abound throughout ShieldCPS. Wherever possible, human error and misunderstanding have been reduced by the use of drop-down menus. All topics have hidden management functions that are located in Custom Property Boxes so that the information you need is always available when you need it. Hiding information in this way allows the user to focus of the task at hand - 'That of Managing Child Safety'.
Based on the users professional judgement, evaluating the level of risk a child is facing has been made easy with ShieldCPS. Drop-down menus for the Probability of an event happening and the Severity of the Incident (should it occur), returns a result that denotes the level of risk a child is facing.
Every change to the assessment will need Justifying as to 'Why' we have changed the assessment. The users name, date and time is automatically collected and along with the justification these details are stored in the auditable History Box. This information will prove useful during Serious Case Reviews and enable us to discover best practice.
9. Incident Cycle
This Incident Cycle depicts the level of risk a child is facing on a daily basis and demonstrates what could happen if we do nothing. Visual indicators abound throughout ShieldCPS to keep you informed as to the progress and status of your assessment. Now that the user understands the issues, we are better placed to work together to reduce the level of risk. It's important to remember that with ALARP, we aim to reduce the risk to a broadly acceptable level.
10. Add Actions
In order to reduce risk, we need to either control or eliminate the Risk or control the Causes. In this screenshot, the maternity staff are trying to eliminate the risk by referring to Children's Social Care Services and Adult Social Care Services for further assessment by more qualified personnel.
11. Add Evidence
Evidence, in any media, can be uploaded in real time and attached to the assessment. The Evidence can be viewed (only by those with sufficient access rights) in context with the assessment. This will allow for better informed decisions to be reached quicker. This information will be securely and permanently stored and always available. Here we see that Children's Social Care Services deemed that there was no need for their continued involvement at that time.
Child K continued to live with this high risk until Sept05 at which point his mother was rehoused. In this screenshot, we see that the Risk and Cause has been dealt with and that we have achieved the desired outcome of reducing the level of risk to the child from A - D. Success feels good!
13. Advanced User
The Datasheet Editor can display overall status but it is primarily used by advanced users for fast and efficient data input. All information is automatically transposed to the assessment when closed.
14. Track Actions
The Entity Overview feature is a powerful filter sort to ensure your team never misses an outstanding Action. Simply by dragging any title into the blue filter bar, ShieldCPS provides the answers you need to the intrinsic 5W's - Who, What, When, Where and Why!
By selecting any tab (such as Risks, Causes, Actions and Incidents), the unique Entity Overview provides your team with a detailed chronological history.
16. Current Risk
Most assessment tools are likely to tell you "How bad things were yesterday" and "How good things will be tomorrow" BUT what about today? SheildCPS uniquely informs your team of the risks the child is facing at any moment in time with its Current Risk Class.
The Configuration Box allows you to adapt ShieldCPS to the way you want to work. From here, authorities can define the qualitative and quantitative descriptions for the Probability and Severity, create drop-down menus, control user management, passwords and much more!
How many times have you had to stay awake until the early hours preparing for that important meeting the next day? Well now you can get a good nights sleep and be better prepared. ShieldCPS allows your team to securely export the assessment to MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, PDF, Images and more.
After all our work is done we still need reports. ShieldCPS populates numerous report templates for you at the touch of a button. The man-hours you will save could translate into extra staff that will reduce case overload.