Learning together to safeguard children: developing a multi-agency systems approach for case reviews

Appendix 5: Framework for contributory factors

Factor group according to level/location Factor types Contributory influencing factor
Frontline factors aspects of the family that influenced a worker’s thinking about a case and action
  • Nature of the problem(s) – complexity and/or seriousness and availability of suitable services; strength of knowledge base/level of professional consensus on diagnostic categories and possibilities
  • Duration of problems; well known to services or not
  • Problems as self-identified and/or designated a problem by others
  • Manner of problem presentation – help seeking help or hostile
  • Willingness to engage
  • Nature of relationship between professional and family member(s)
  • Availability for meeting
  • Number of children
  • Size of family; no. of significant adults involved
  • Complexity of family dynamics
  • Communication issues and language
  • Personality
  • Social factors, history
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Sexuality
  • Ethnicity
  personal (staff) aspects
  • Knowledge, skills and expertise
  • Mindset
  • Human reasoning
  • Attentional factors (what were they doing when they weren’t doing something else)
  • Illness, tiredness, burnout etc,. leading to their not being able to work to optimal standards
  • Motivation
  • Personality
  • Social factors – history
  • Interactional style
  aspects of their role
  • Frequency of contact with the family
  • Location of contacts – e.g. going into family home or not
  • Focus of their concerns
  conditions of work
  • The general atmosphere surrounding the case
  • Staffing levels and skill mix
  • Workload
  • The timing e.g. shift patterns or busy time of year
  • Admin support
  • Managerial support
  • IT/computers
  own team factors
  • Issues related to getting help, advice or support
  • Supervision
  • Communication both written and oral
  • Differences of opinion within the team
  • Issues around team operations e.g. mixed messages
  • Team culture
  • Accepted/usual/routine practices
  • Capacity/workload
  • Skills/experience mix
  • Strength of knowledgebase/level of professional consensus on diagnostic categories and possibilities
  Inter-agency/inter-professional team factors as above and also
  • Relative hierarchies; status and hierarchy
  • Language
  • Clarity of relative roles
  • Information sharing
  • Personal relationships and history (knowing each other or not)
  • Nature of working relationships (good–hostile)
  • Group dynamics
  • Cultures of communication across boundaries
  • Inter-agency culture and accepted practices
  • Culture of dealing with conflict – covert or overt
Local strategic-level factors Organisational culture and management (of individual agencies and multi-agency system as a whole)
  • Financial resources and constraints
  • Resource allocation
  • Organisational priorities
  • Organisational structure
  • Organisational culture
  • Thresholds
  • Local policy
  • Local procedures
  • Standards and goals
  • Safety culture and priorities
  • Mixed messages
  • Availability of services; gaps in service provision
  • Clarity and adequacy of commissioning arrangements
  • Staffing decisions/allocation
National/government- level factors political context and priorities
  • Government policy
  • Government guidance
  • Management system and regulation; performance indicators
  • Tools: assessment framework and associated forms; ICT systems