Assessing the risk of significant harm within statutory Children’s Social Services

The Risk Model was developed to assist social workers to assess the threshold for statutory intervention in the private lives of families.  It has been introduced in several Local Authorities in Wales and England, and has been further developed and modified for use in areas such as family justice and early intervention services.

The Risk Model was created by Gwynedd Council’s Children Services in conjunction with Bruce Thornton, and was awarded a Social Care Accolade by Social Care Wales in 2011. 

The Risk Model is an important contribution to social work practice in child protection.  It is focussed on how the most important decisions within Children’s Social Care are made – decisions that underpin the core statutory duty of Children’s Social Care.  The ‘risk of significant harm’ is the legal threshold for statutory intervention by Children’s Services and the Risk Model is a framework designed to assess this.

One of the key principles in child protection is that decision making should be of high quality and consistency and the Risk Model provides a framework to support practitioners to achieve exactly that.

This website is aimed at practitioners and other professionals interested in child protection.  It provides information about the development of the Risk Model and an overview of how it is being used in day to day practice.