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Managing risk and uncertainty

Middle managers in social services are involved in overseeing complex practice issues and dilemmas. They are concerned for the safety and wellbeing of those who use services, carers and staff. They understand the legislative context for protecting those who are at risk of harm. They are aware that people have the right to take risks and that leading a full life includes a degree of risk.

Middle managers therefore need to be able to:

  • demonstrate clear knowledge of the legislative and policy framework within which risk is managed
  • lead and support a culture that allows staff and people who use services to make informed choices and take risks appropriately
  • ensure that systems and processes are in place to assess and manage risk responsibly while also valuing the importance of positive risk-taking/risk enablement within people’s lives
  • respond to complex ethical and professional issues and make informed judgements in areas of uncertainty
  • work with conflicting opinions and judgements while maintaining clear focus on people’s safety and wellbeing
  • take responsibility for gathering, analysing and using accurate and detailed information for decision-making while recognising that decisions may require to be made in the absence of complete information
  • support practitioners to take responsibility in dealing with risk while ensuring robust systems to oversee and review safe practice
  • exercise professional judgement in bringing significant risk concerns to the attention of senior managers and relevant agencies.

If you can demonstrate what you have learned from this area of the framework and how you have put your learning into practice, you will be able to earn an Open Badge. Find out more here.

Managing risk and uncertainty resources

Examples from Practice

What Others Say

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Gloria McLoughlin - Scottish Care

"I think we are going to have to work together, going forward in the current climate. It’s going to have to be about collaboration. And it’s going to be about setting old suspicions aside and working together going forward."

University of Stirling et al. (2010) Leading Together, Dundee, SSSC

Leadership Capability Indicators
Continuous Learning Framework (CLF)
Standards for Childhood Practice
learning log
Additional SSKS Resources

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