Professional challenge and dispute resolution

Child protection work is stressful and complex, as well as involving uncertainty, and strong feelings.

To ensure that the best decisions are made for children the professionals working in such a difficult area need to be able to challenge each other's practice.

Challenge is not comfortable so a system for such challenge should be available.

The system should explain how to challenge, who to contact, gives permission for it and see it as a legitimate, normal part of professional work between partner agencies.

The Pan-London safeguarding children procedures advocate and describe such a system.

All agencies should be aware of the procedure.


Below documents explain the system in Ealing and give the names and details of relevant staff.

Please store these documents and if you feel the wrong decisions or practice is made for a child please do use them to get the issue reviewed and if necessary changed.

PA4. Resolving Professional Differences (

Summary and procedure steps

In summary the system is to first raise the difference with the worker concerned.

If agreement is not possible then escalate with their line manager.

If there is still no agreement contact the child protection advisers.

As a final resort, you can take the matter to the Ealing safeguarding children partnership, via the headteachers representatives.

Record discussions at each step on the child's file.

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Last updated: 05 Dec 2023

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