Conflict Resolution Statement
Working in Partnership the three most important provisions in the Children Act 2004 are:
- The creation of Children’s Trusts under the duty to co-operate
- The setting up of the Local Safeguarding Children Board
- The duty on all agencies to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
A shared responsibility and the need for effective joint working between agencies and professionals that have different roles and expertise is required if children are to be protected from harm and their welfare promoted. In order to achieve this joint working, there must be constructive relationships between individual practitioners, promoted and supported by:
- The commitment of senior managers to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and
- Clear lines of accountability where there is conflict
It is inevitable however that occasionally a consensus amongst professionals will not be reached. A dispute may arise around the following issues:
- Process, policy, procedures
- A Plan to safeguard the welfare of a child
- A plan to meet a child’s long term needs.
Disputes about different agency’s responsibilities to implement procedures and revision of the procedures must be taken to the Policy and Procedures Committee for discussion and any recommendations ratified by the Newcastle Safeguarding Children Board. If a consensus amongst professionals cannot be reached regarding; case management, the immediate safety of a child, the long term plan to meet a child’s needs, the matter must be escalated to the social worker’s/lead professional’s Senior Manager. The Senior Manager will contact their counterpart in the other agency in order to resolve the issue.
If Senior Managers are unable to come to an agreement the issue will be escalated to the respective Directors/equivalents.
All disputes must be reflected in the minutes of the meeting in which they have arisen. Any tasks identified in order to resolve the conflict must be recorded, assigned and timescales identified. In the event that a particular cause of action is pursued without a consensus having been reached, the reasons should be made explicit and clearly evidenced in the minutes of the meeting.