How do you assess the priority need for intervention?
Some agencies may use the following criteria to prioritise risk:
- Injury requiring medical attention has occurred (e.g. a woman is admitted to hospital after a domestic violence incident).
- Serious injury is likely to occur.
- A child/young person has disclosed they are being abused.
- A child/young person requires repeated medical attention.
- A child/young person does not have a carer or parent to look after them.
The main reason for prioritising risk is to ensure that you can respond to the most urgent situations appropriately and immediately. Things that would indicate that a client is at risk are:
- suicidal behaviour or repeated threats to suicide
- sexual and physical abuse
- in some situations, homelessness
- consistent taking of harmful legal and illegal substances
- repeated serious criminal offences.
Identifying and categorising risk are important aspects of crisis response. If you are unclear about how you can identify and categorise risk, you should arrange to meet with your supervisor and discuss options for that particular client.
It is important to remember that you should check your information and assessments with a supervisor rather than make important decisions by yourself.