Working with Childrenand Young People

Adults are faced with a dilemma: on one hand, children need opportunities to become competent risk managers; on the other hand, adults have the responsibility to keep them safe.

Critically assess whether this dilemma can be managed within the delivery of services for children.


The question is how we can give children the opportunity to become competent risk managers yet keep them safe in the services we provide for children. Within this essay I will look at three areas of risk, children who are at risk, the risk of cyber-bullying and lastly risky play. In all three areas of risk I will look at the opportunities children have to risk manage the situation themselves, how adults keep them safe within the services provided them and if there is possibilities for changes within those services so that there is no longer a dilemma for practitioners.

Children in today’s society face a number of different risks and as a parent, carer and practitioner who comes in contact with children it is our responsibility to ensure they are safe. Safeguarding children has been a major government issue over the past years and through the decades because of high profile cases the way we protect children has come under the microscope. With the recent death of Baby P and the Victoria Climbie cases both of which were involved intensively with a wide range of health, welfare and protection services. Consequently risk has been formed and reformed on the basis of social, cultural, political and intellectual changes.   As a result of this ever evolving way we look at risk we must look at what we define as risk. Risk is something we all face on daily basis in its loosest concept risk can be seen as a ‘hazard’ or ‘danger’ but for the purpose of this essay risk will be thought of more as

        ‘a double estimate of probability: how likely is it that something will happen and what are the likely consequences if it does?’ (Collins J and Foley P, 2008, p 145)