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Why Override? Sometimes You Need a Different Route
Imagine a typically taxing commute to the office during rush hour, further complicated by road construction. The GPS recommends the best route based on information it receives, but today’s estimated travel time is double due to unexpected lane consolidation and work crews. Maybe you have the option to settle in with your favorite podcast and slowly ride it out. More likely, you have important tasks to accomplish and people to see, so your better option is to check for other routes on your GPS. Why would you choose a different route? Because this is an unusual situation that demands a different approach. Most days, your typical route is the best way to get to work, but you may need to consider other options in certain circumstances. That’s a bit like what overrides offer in Structured Decision Making® (SDM) assessments.
SDM® assessments are designed to promote consistency and accuracy in decision making with the guidance of structure and research. An additional component to several assessments is the override section, which allows the worker to choose a different decision path than the assessment tool recommends. In these rare and exceptional circumstances, a worker can consider whether a specified agency or jurisdictional policy may apply. Another type of override—a “discretionary override”—allows room for a worker's professional judgment in a unique situation. To ensure that multiple parties use their best judgment in making these critical decisions, it is recommended that overrides receive supervisor approval.
You can read more about the SDM model and its use in child welfare work, adult protection work, and beyond on NCCD's website.

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