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This content is taken from the University of Strathclyde & CELCIS's online course, Caring for Vulnerable Children. Join the course to learn more.
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Rating risk and vulnerability: poll

We have acknowledged that the assessment of risk and vulnerability is not an exact science.

Seen through different cultural or contextual lenses, the same set of circumstances will be viewed to hold greater or lesser degrees of risk and potential vulnerability for children and young people. The task of social work and social care staff working with this population of children is to try to make accurate assessments as to likely future harm and act accordingly.

In the exercise below we would like you to begin to assess issues of risk and vulnerability and to reflect upon the factors that lead you to your conclusions. Consider the ten brief scenarios below.

  • A tiny baby who has been given a violent shaking by their carer who has learning difficulties and is upset because the baby won’t stop crying.
  • A 7-year old girl who has her father regularly sleeping in bed with her.
  • A 15-year old girl who has recently been befriended by a man who has persuaded her to do sexual things to him in exchange for money and affection.
  • A six-month old baby boy who has not had any attention or anything to eat for 10 hours.
  • A 4-year old girl who has a mother who is suffering from depression and who has not bothered to feed her for 24 hours.
  • A 15-year old child being teased at school for wearing shoes which have both got holes in the soles and trousers which are stained and threadbare.
  • A 3-year old child who has learning difficulties and whose mother continually criticises and shouts at her all the time.
  • An 8-year old girl of Afro Caribbean origin who has just had her hair cut short because her white foster carer finds it difficult to manage.
  • An 11-year old who has just mastered the internet and is delighted to have made a friend who claims to be of similar age through a “chat room” who they have arranged to meet.
  • A 4-year old child who is regularly locked in their bedroom for wetting their pants.

In the poll, pick three of the scenarios that you think present the most risk.

Follow this link to access the poll. The poll will close at 12.00 GMT on Thursday 5 November. Once closed, come back here to read Graham’s analysis of the poll results.

The next step is a discussion where you have the opportunity to explain the decisions you made when answering the poll.

Note that completion of the survey poll is anonymous and all responses will not be used outside of the course. Completion will have no impact on your progress in the course. If you would prefer not to take part, please mark this step as complete and move on to the next step.

If you have any further questions about the survey poll, please contact Graham McPheat. This survey poll is being undertaken by CELCIS at The University of Strathclyde and all response data is managed in accordance with the University of Strathclyde’s terms and conditions governing data collection and use which can be viewed here.

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This article is from the free online course:

Caring for Vulnerable Children

University of Strathclyde