Professional curiosity

What is professional curiosity?

Professional curiosity is a practice mind-set and a communication skill. It is about keeping an open mind, considering alternative possibilities and working with families to better understand their circumstances.

A recurring theme in Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews nationally has been a need for practitioners and managers to be curious, sceptical, to think critically and systematically, but to act compassionately.

The respectful uncertainty needed in work with families is also required in multi-agency working where challenge of other professionals’ opinions or judgments may be necessary. Recent analysis of Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews found that an organisational climate which supports and encourages sustained professional challenge is essential if the difficult tasks of recognising and responding to harm to the child are to be more effective.

A number of resources have been produced for professionals relating to professional curiosity: