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Practice the Pause

Yesterday, Carmen, Christina and I had the privilege to facilitate a workshop with all Senior Team Leaders from across Qld’s Child Safety department during their 2 day Intervention with Parental Agreement forum in Brisbane. It was a wonderful opportunity to come together and provide a space for reflection and sharing of the incredible collective practice wisdom of those in the room. Quite literally 100s of years of practice knowledge, experience and skill all in the room together; it was quite awe-inspiring. These are the influencers, the disruptors, the mentors, for the CSOs across the State and taking time to together to talk about the complexities of risk assessment was fantastic. One practitioner commented on the need to ‘Practice the Pause’; where we all take a moment to stop, reflect on our practice values, our cognitive biases, our evidence gathering and analytical processes, to ensure we are assessing risk and protective factors genuinely, authentically, accurately.

We workshopped with them around how cognitive biases, such as Confirmation Bias, Recency Effect, Halo Effect and the Rule of Optimism can contribute to assessments which result in poor outcomes for children and families, and how Professional Dangerousness is a risk for us all to be mindful of when working in Child Protection. The room leaned in on their collective practice wisdom to highlight how these can be brought to the forefront of our minds and combatted through exceptional supervision, team discussion, partnering with other practitioners and outside agencies, and quite simply, Practising the Pause. Reflection and insight come from those moments where we check in with ourselves and query how our values, our own childhood experiences, the views and thoughts of others etc, can impact on how we make decisions. These amazing practitioners were unanimous in acknowledging that every single child, young person and family we work with deserves that at the very least.

If your teams would benefit from our workshop on Complexities of Risk Assessment, reach out to us at or call 0423 826 543.



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