There was a lot of discussion around the post ‘No Smoke Without Fire: Safeguarding Concerns‘. It seems that inappropriate social care referrals is something that has happened to many and can of course be traumatising to experience.
However there were also a number of comments about how critical it can be to have ‘that one professional’ that remains professional, has integrity and stays focussed on the child and their actual needs. Someone you know will be honest with you and with those others who appear to be more interested in saving a budget or making a point to prove themselves right. Some talk about a teacher, some a SENCo, a Social Worker or a Clinical Psychologist. It doesn’t seem to matter what professional group the person comes from, any can and do make a difference.
I imagine that being ‘that professional’ is very very tough at times. I imagine that they are sometimes bullied by peers and managers and that the pressure from all directions (including that which you put on yourself to do more?) can be hard to manage. Please know that we appreciate you beyond measure.
From the parents point of view having that one person that you can rely on can be a deal-breaker. They are the reason you can keep going. This is what you look like to those parents:
Characteristics of professionals that make a difference
- they carry out careful and thorough assessments based on information from the child and family (not the TA the arrange to meet in the pub…);
- they keep the child is at the centre of their work and thinking;
- they document the results of their assessments their views, conclusions and recommendations with a sense of confidence and authority;
- they avoid making assumptions and can justify their recommendations based on their assessments, research and a process that has carefully considered alternatives;
- they demonstrate skills and expertise to a high level within their profession;
- they are willing to listen to other professionals involved and can clearly describe the results of their assessments to others;
- they remain true to their profession;
- they consistently show integrity;
- they ignore external factors (funding, the views of other’s preconceived constraints on services) when describing the child’s needs;
- they are willing to appropriately challenge other professionals within the wider multi-professional team;
- they consider the wider family issues, including the needs of siblings, and how these impact on the child they are assessing;
- they properly, really properly, listen to the child and parents and carefully consider what their views and the experiences that they describe.
In summary, these professionals remain independent of other professionals’ viewpoints and comprehesively carry out their own independent assessment – holding the views of other professionals lightly, whilst exploring alternative hypotheses.
Of you are one of these professionals then we want to tell you that it may not always seem like it – but you do make a difference. A very big difference thank you from the bottom of our hearts to you.
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