Frequently Asked Questions
Why Visualise Risk?
As they say, "A picture paints a thousand words!"
We are all visual thinkers and our vision is the primary sense that we use to navigate the world. We have all spent hours reviewing documents and text and no doubt suffered from a symptom known as 'word blindness' whereby we scan rather than read.
Visualisation is the process of presenting data in a form that allows rapid understanding of relationships and findings that are not readily evident from raw data.
What does ALARP stand for?
ALARP stands for "as low as reasonably practicable", and is a term often used in the milieu of safety-critical and safety-involved systems. The ALARP principle is that the residual risk shall be as low as reasonably practicable. It has particular connotations as a route to reduce risks SFAIRP (so far as is reasonably practicable) in UK Health and Safety law.
For a risk to be ALARP it must be possible to demonstrate that the cost involved in reducing the risk further would be grossly disproportionate to the benefit gained. The ALARP principle arises from the fact that infinite time, effort and money could be spent on the attempt of reducing a risk to zero.
It should not be understood as simply a quantitative measure of benefit against detriment. It is more a best common practice of judgement of the balance of risk and societal benefit.
How does ALARP help social care?
We have combined ALARP principles with the tried and trusted Department for Education Assessment Framework. While assessing with ShieldCPS, your organisation will be able to demonstrate that children's risks are being, or have been, reduced to a level of risk that is broadly acceptable to both your organisation and society at large.
Deciding whether a risk is ALARP can be challenging. ShieldCPS helps demonstrate to Ofsted, Universal Services and families that you have a robust and effective safeguarding system that exercises judgement based on good practice. It will enable you to focus your resources effectively in targeting support and resources to those children identified in greatest need.
Harm, Significant Harm or Level of Risk?
"Harm" is the ill treatment or the impairment of the health or development of the child. It is determined "significant" by comparing a child's health and development with what might be reasonably expected of a similar child.
There is no absolute criteria for determining whether, or not, harm is "significant". Local authorities (such as social services, police, education and health agencies) work with family members to assess the child and a decision is made based on their professional judgement using the gathered evidence. However, this can be flawed with incorrect decisons being taken.
ShieldCPS ensures that there is a common understanding of the level of harm a child is facing and the appropriate action to take. ShieldCPS provides a uniform, acceptable and defensible way of determining the level of harm. We must ensure that (regardless of skill level or experience) all agencies, families and children are absolutely clear on the explanation of harm and what it means in 'real terms' to a child.
How do you prevent several files being opened on the same child?
This has been a serious consideration in the development of ShieldCPS. The opening of multiple files is a big issue and a lot of time is spent by local authorities cleaning up duplicate data. There have been instances where the running of more than one file has meant risks were missed. ShieldCPS has the facility to use existing official NHS numbers as unique identifiers, coupled with name, DOB and address, to prevent file duplication.
Is it possible to limit who sees what and how is this achieved?
Yes it is. The Configuration Box allows authorities to remain in absolutel control. Those who require access to a case are allocated 'A Role' (Reader, User, Super User, Administrator, Subject, ParentOfSubject and ProxyForSubject) along with a password. These Roles have clearly defined access rights that limit what the 'User' can and cannot do, equally what they can and cannot see.
Access Rights restrict the information stored, e.g. they allow subjects to see everything the social worker has written but not the police whilst there's an ongoing investigation. Whenever an entry is being made a Justification Box allows the user to keep the record confidential from the subject or their carers together with an explanation box, visible to the subject and other users, which shows that information has been hidden and why. This feature allows LAs the flexibility to set their own limits in accordance with local policy.
Is it possible for the subject to be able to see and contribute to their own case?
Yes it is.
The Configuration Box allows authorities to remain in control control of 'who sees what'. Those who require access to a case, are allocated 'A Role' (Reader, User, Super User, Administrator, Subject, Parent of Subject and Proxy for Subject) along with a password. These roles have clearly defined access rights that limit what the 'User' can and cannot do; equally, what they can and cannot see.