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Managing Unseen Risk for Newly Qualified Social Workers - cohort 3

Part of BASW's Taught Skills Programme for NQSWs

***Session for students & NQSWs only***

Part 1 of 6 in BASW's Taught Skills Programme for NQSWs - you do not to attend every session in the programme and can choose to mix sessions between cohorts. To discuss rates for block bookings of 5 or more delegates please email

Course Outline:

A particular anxiety for newly qualified frontline practitioners in the assessment of risk, particularly in the current challenging times, when there may be less options for face to-face assessment, interventions and monitoring. Whilst there are no easy answers to this dilemma, this workshop gives frontline practitioners in both Children and Adults settings some frameworks for conceptualising and assessing risks; ideas to consider for triangulating information effectively, an exploration of the implications of undertaking risk assessment without face-to-face contact and when and how direct assessments may still need to take place.

This session is an opportunity for professionals to share ideas and experiences from their own practice and engage in valuable peer support which can increase professional confidence and resilience. The course will explore the impact of our own values, bias and beliefs on understanding, assessing and managing risk including an exploration of whether this makes our practice risk adverse or conversely prompts unsafe risk-taking. The principles of safe accountable positive risk-taking will be explored. Recording decision-making around risk will also be covered.

Learning Methods:

This is training is delivered using an online interactive classroom approach and all delegates will be expected to take part to ensure an effective adult learning experience. Using whiteboards and breakout rooms, a combination of learning methods will be used throughout the day, including trainer presentation and group work in the form of case studies and reflection dilemmas to support application to practice. Local templates and expectations will be embedded in the programme where required and appropriate.

Learning Outcomes:

This course will provide participants with the following learning outcomes:

✓ Be able to identify possible (unseen) risks (e.g: neglect/abuse/emotional harm/restricted rights)

✓ Outline ways of conceptualising risk to help evaluate them and the options for managing them effectively.

✓ Explore the impact of our personal and professional values on how we view and respond to risk.

✓ Explore ways of assessing risk and triangulating information with reduced face to face contact.

✓ Be able to weigh up if face-to-face risk assessment is needed and options for triangulating this

✓ Explore strategies for monitoring and managing risks where contact is not possible.

✓ Explore the principles of positive risk-taking.

✓ Know how to seek support and/or escalate concerns.

✓ Know how to record risk in an accountable manner.

Resources Required:

All delegates will need a laptop with a functioning Microphone and Camera to allow effective participation and a strong stable internet connection. Where possible delegates should be using the Microsoft Teams Desktop App and have ensured it is fully updated. Laptops should have an up-to-date Browser such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge

Programme Outline:

9.00 Log-in – Check your connection, camera & mic (the get a cuppa)

9.30 Introduction to the session and the tech

9.45 Defining Risk

10.15 Understanding the impact of values & beliefs in assessing and responding to risk

11.00 Comfort / Screen Break

11.20 Conceptualising Risk

• Static & Dynamic Risk.

• Assessing Likelihood and seriousness.

• Safe uncertainty.

12.30 LUNCH/Screen-Break

1.15 Exploring the Impact of the Pandemic

• Challenges and solutions.

• Ethical frame-works for decision-making.

• Assessing if face to face assessment is required

2.30 Screen-Break

2.50 Positive-Risk Taking Principles

• Why, When and How to take positive risks

• Barriers to Service User Engagement

• Collaborative Risk Management Plans

• Assessing when positive-risk taking is not appropriate

3.50 Recording risk in an accountable and defensible manner

4.15 Final Feedback and Reflection

The Trainer:

Chloe Whittall, Professional Development Manager

Our Professional Development Manager, Chloe Whittall is a qualified SWE registered Social Worker who has been qualified for over 20 years and has held a range of therapeutic and managerial roles in both voluntary and statutory sector organisations. In addition to her Social Work Degree, Chloe holds the ILM Change Management and Leadership award, the Practice Teaching Award in Social Work, Certificate in Counselling, an AFT Advanced Diploma in Systemic Practice and a Level 3 ITG Award in delivering Adult Education.

Chloe has significant experience of coaching and mentoring in both the substance misuse sector and statutory children’s services, having undertaken the role of Practice Educator since 2006, Practice Educator/PEP’s Assessor since 2008 and ASYE Assessor since 2014. Since joining DBC Chloe has continued to undertake these roles in an off-site capacity supporting Social Work Students, NQSW’s and their assessors in both adult and children’s voluntary and statutory settings.

Since joining DCC-i Ltd, Chloe has also led on two significant pieces of evaluation and implementation project work relating to supervision and staff support. The first involved supporting 2 Local Authorities and 2 via the Teaching Partnership to evaluate 3 models of supporting Social Work Students on Placement. The second involved the evaluation of the Welsh national post-qualifying qualifications for Social Workers. Both pieces of work involved consulting with students, managers and educators to gain feedback on the most effective way of supporting students and staff and publishing reports with recommendations on a positive way forward.

Chloe’s particular area of interest lies in supporting organisations to connect with cohorts of staff to develop their skills and commitment to providing exceptional outcomes for service users underpinned by the values, ethics and working approach of the organisation.

BASW members please log in to your BASW account prior to booking to maintain your CPD record