Reflective Practice Checklist

Practice is often complex, pressured and involves managing significant risk. Finding solutions, achieving the best possible outcomes, and working with and alongside people is not always easy.  It can often be helpful to step-back and reflect on the approach being taken.

This reflective practice checklist is intended to support individual practitioners and or multi-agency partners to reflect on their approach. It could be used to supervision to explore and rethink approaches.

The list of considerations will not be exhaustive, but it may help practitioners to identify alternative approaches that can make the difference when working with people living in circumstances of complex needs and or risks. Its use is not intended to be limited to situations of abuse, neglect or self-neglect.

Organisations may wish to adapt this checklist to the nature of their specific role and services. 

1.        The person at risk

  • Do you know and understand the person's views, wishes and desired outcomes? Does your approach take these into account?
  • Is the person in need of representation of a friend, relative, or advocate to facilitate their involvement? The Advonet Group provide independent advocacy services for Leeds.
  • Have you provided for the person's communication and support needs to enable them to engage with support arrangements?
  • Have you recognised the person's personal and cultural background? Does your approach actively take these into consideration?
  • Has the person experienced adverse childhood experiences or adult trauma that impacts on their ability to maintain their safety? Are you taking a trauma informed approach?

2.       Are you adopting a strength-based approach?

  • Are you on building upon the person's strengths and their social and community networks? Are you focused on what people can do, rather than what they cannot?

3.       Are you exercising professional curiosity?

  • Are you questioning assumptions? Considering alternative explanations?
  • Are you seeking to understand the underlying issues? 

For further guidance on professional curiosity, see the LSAB Guides

4.       Are the right people and services involved?

  • Are all key services engaged?
  • Is there an agreed lead person/agency to coordinate actions?
  • Where an agency is not involved, have you sought to escalate our concerns to gain involvement?  You might need help from a manager in your service to do this.
  • If there are differences of views, have you actively sought to resolve disagreements?
  • Have you considered engaging with the person's relatives, do you have the consent of the person at risk, or is it proportional to do so even without the person's consent?
  • Have you considered involving an agency or service that has a role that enables them to befriend and get alongside the person, for example a community group or specialist service?

5.       Is a multi-agency approach required?

  • Are a number of organisations involved? Should other organisations be involved? Have you made referrals? Have you escalated your concerns if you have not received the response you feel you should?
  • Has there been a multi-agency meeting about these concerns?
  • Has there been a formal multi-agency risk assessment?
  • Has a multi-agency plan for intervention been tried?
  • Has there been a review of this multi-agency approach? Are there other things you can try?
  • Are you or other practitioners feeling they cannot share relevant information? Don't assume this is the case. Seek advice immediately, contact your Information Governance Lead, it may also be helpful to refer to the LSAB Information Sharing Policy

6.       Is the person declining support with essential services?

  • Have you sought to build relationships? You may need to build relationships and trust before the person is gradually able to accept support. This can take time.
  • Have you sought to understand and find the person behind the behaviours you are concerned about? Do you know why they decline support, and what is important to them?
  • Have you tried to develop plans alongside the person, starting where they are and with what is important to them?
  • Have you sought to be creative, addressing their particular needs, issues and concerns?
  • Are you working with the person's strengths, at their pace?
  • Have you referred to the Always Care resource?
  • In circumstances of self-neglect; have you referred to the LSAB Self-neglect policy?
  • Have you considered if further interventions are proportionate to the risk, and in accordance with Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998

7.      Have legal options been considered?

  • Is there evidence to indicate an assessment of mental capacity is required?
  • Is your practice in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005? Have you considered the 5 principles?
  • Does the person have fluctuating mental capacity? 
  • Have you considered whether the person has the capacity to make a particular decision at the particular time it needs to be made? Have you considered 'executive capacity', the ability to use or weigh the information in practice? 
  • Do you need to seek advice from a Mental Capacity Act lead for your organisation?
  • Has there been consideration of seeking legal advice?  
  • Have legal powers of intervention been considered? This may involve considering the legal powers of agencies other than your own.

8.     Is there also a risk to others?

  • If there is a risk to a child? Have you consulted your safeguarding lead? Have you informed Leeds City Council Children Services?
  • If there is a risk to other adults, have you considered how to manage those risks?

9.     Have you made full use of supervision?

  • Have you used supervision to gain advice, to reflect on the case, or to rethink your formulation of the person's needs and your approach?
  • Have you consulted your lead professional e.g. a safeguarding lead, mental capacity champion?
  • If significant risks have been identified, have you escalated your concerns within your organisation? Are your managers fully aware of the issues and concerns? 

10.    Have you referred to relevant policies, procedures or guidance?

  • Does your organisation have specific guidance or procedures for situations like these?
  • Are there Leeds multi-agency policy and procedures? Have you looked at what resources the Leeds Safeguarding Adults Board have to offer? Is there other local guidance?

11.     Is there a multi-agency forums that can assist you with this case?

  • The nature of such forums may depend on your area of work. Contact your Safeguarding Lead for advice. The Safeguarding Adults Board itself offers an Exceptional Risk Forum (ERF). Click the link to find out more.