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Professional curiosity

Professional curiosity is a recurring theme in Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs), Safeguarding Practice Reviews (SPRs - children) and Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) in Norfolk, and indeed nationally.

It's a concept that has been explored more widely when working with children, but is equally relevant to work with adults. 

SAR thematic


Professional curiosity is about having the capacity and communication skills to explore and understand what is happening with an individual or family.

It is about asking more, and using proactive questioning and challenge. It is about understanding your own responsibility and knowing when to act, rather than making assumptions.

It is about being interested in the person and the situation; not taking things at face value - asking 'why'?

Professional Curiosity slide


Look, listen, question ..

Reflect (think about your own values too, how might these change the way you look at a situation ..)

Collaborate and confirm (who else do you need to talk to / talk through your concerns with ..)

NSAB has published this guidance which shows the link to several Norfolk SARs, as well as tips on developing your professional curiosity skills:

 NSAB Professional curiosity guidance 

Research in Practice published this briefing on professional curiosity in safeguarding adults, written by Norfolk colleagues at UEA and Adult Social Care - you will need to be signed up to RiPFA to access the whole briefing but you can read the overview from this link.

Have a look at this short video (under five mins) created by Rochdale SAB.  It has a good overview of ‘respectful' questioning and includes consideration of mental capacity: