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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: June 2012

9 - Risks in safeguarding children: team values as well as skills


Topics covered in this chapter

The importance of diverse team values (as well as knowledge and skills) in values-based practice is illustrated by the issues of risk and safety in a child protection case.

Other topics include:

Risk assessment and values

Strengths and limitations of protocols and procedural guidelines

Balanced clinical judgment

Diverse team values and person-values-centered care

The “extended” multidisciplinary team.

Take-away message for practice

Working in teams opens up a resource of diverse value perspectives that can support you in making balanced decisions in areas like risk assessment that require difficult judgment calls.

Like person-centered care in the last chapter, values-based practice brings an extra dimension to multidisciplinary teamwork. Teamwork is important in modern health care in part because no single profession, let alone individual, can hope to encompass all the diverse knowledge and skills required for effective evidence-based practice in the increasingly complex environment of modern health care. But the complexity of modern health care, as we saw in Part 1, is a complexity as much of the values-base of practice as of its evidence-base. Correspondingly, teamwork is important in values-based practice as much for the diverse values that different team members bring to the decision-making process as for their diverse knowledge and skills.

In this chapter, we illustrate the importance of the diverse value perspectives of team members through the story of how a GP, Dr. Lee Chew, manages the child protection issues raised when a young mother, Jade Spence, arrives in an “Extras” clinic on a Friday evening concerned that her four-month-old baby, Brit, has become sore “down below.”

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