Ask the Expert: Risk assessments


One of my staff takes young people out on visits and trips in her car as part of her outreach role. It bothers me regarding safety. I want to be sure we are doing things properly.

Anyone working on their own with a young person should be complying with their organisational policy on lone working. This involves taking measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both the young person and staff member. A staff member’s car is a private space and serious consideration must be taken before allowing a service user to travel in it.

Does your service have a generic risk assessment and policy on transporting young people? And has your staff member carried out an individual risk assessment regarding each child she is transporting on her own? This is essential to ensure it is an appropriate action for them to be taking. If, for instance, the young person has a history of violence or absconding, think twice before allowing staff to transport them, or ensure you put measures in place to deal with any incidents.

Answered by Jeanie Lynch, who works for Barnardo’s and has 25 years’ experience of working with vulnerable children and families

Email questions, marked “Experts”, to cypnow@markallengroup.com

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