Part 2: The Risk Assessment Process

As social workers, you undertake risk assessments all the time. Sometimes you do this using risk instruments and tools, at other times you are required to make quick decisions, based on your ability to appraise and evaluate the risks that are present in a given situation.

This draws on your professional judgement, but these decisions about risk should always following a basic decision making process in which you:

  → IDENTIFY key information about the risks that are present

  → ANALYSE what that information means in the current context

  → EVALUATE what needs to be done to prevent or minimise the risk

  → COMMUNICATE your conclusions to those who need to know.

In practice, you might follow this process without being conscious that this is what you are doing. The training will examine this process in detail and consider what each step looks like when assessing the risk of serious harm.