The police have gone further than most in risk management. After the Baby P case, the Metropolitan Police reconsidered its role in child protection and developed the child risk assessment matrix (Cram) - see below.
"We have tested Cram against high-profile failures such as Baby P and Victoria Climbié. If Cram had been fully used it would have picked up both of them," says Det Chief Insp Dick Henson of the Child Abuse Investigation Command.
Cram breaks down children's situations into the categories of "victim", "suspect" and "household". Within each category officers must record how much they know for a series of risk factor questions. The aim is to quantify concerns and ensure areas of risk to the safety of the child do not go unnoticed.
"What this matrix doesn't do is 'high, medium and low risk' because we don't believe they are valid in child protection - each child is unique and the risk can change in a case from day-to-day," says Henson.
"Once the risks are quantified, we look at each one and consider our four options: reduce it, avoid it, remove it or accept it. We record our rationale for each decision which means the effectiveness of our interventions and investigations can be reviewed."
Although this system only applies to those police already involved in child protection, councils often claim it is local police stations that cause problems by sending through too many referrals that fail to meet thresholds, particularly in domestic violence cases.
However, Henson believes such criticism is unfair and councils look at the problem in the wrong way. All councils should consider following the lead of Haringey, which has put in place multi-agency risk assessment teams which filter all referrals to children's services, he says. The teams, comprising health, police and social workers, have access to their own IT systems so it is easy to collect the information held on a case allowing a better risk assessment.