Enfield Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB) and its partners, including Enfield Children’s Social Care have committed to implementing the Signs of Safety framework. The comprehensive implementation plan has been approved and endorsed and funding has been secured for the next 2 years to help move this important project forward.
This means that we are making some significant changes to the way we work with children, young people and families to ensure they are always at the centre of the work we do. Signs of Safety is an integrated framework that is underpinned by key principles – developing and sustaining working relationships with children, families and professionals; having a questioning approach, remaining opened minded; and keeping the work grounded in everyday practice.
What is Signs of Safety?
The Signs of Safety approach was developed in the 1990s in Western Australia. The approach focuses on the question “How can the worker build partnerships with parents and children in situations of suspected or substantiated child abuse and still deal rigorously with the maltreatment issues?” This strengths-based and safety-focused approach to child protection work is grounded in partnership and collaboration. It expands the investigation of risk to encompass strengths and ‘Signs of Safety’ that can be built upon to stabilise and strengthen a child’s and family’s situation. The approach is designed to be used from commencement through to case closure
We are introducing Signs of Safety as our core, multi-agency approach to working with families and managing risk where children are in need of help and protection. The Signs of Safety framework provides an evidence-based approach to assessment, planning, intervention and review that is based on a genuine partnership with children and families, one in which practitioners balance needs and risks with family strengths. For more information and resources, visit the Signs of Safety website.
What’s Working Well?
We started our implementation journey in the summer of 2015. Since then, we have developed the Project Plan which has endorsement from relevant boards and senior managers and we have established a multi-agency steering group which leads on further development and implementation across the Multi-Agency partnership.
We have delivered Signs of Safety briefings to more than 400 Social Work practitioners and have begun to deliver briefings for all partners including Schools, Health, and the Police
We also had two, 2-day and 5-day training sessions, delivered by a licensed Signs of Safety trainer which were attended by 60 practitioners who are already starting to use the Signs of Safety framework in their practice.
What Needs to Happen?
If you have any ideas, questions or queries or if you would like to request a Signs of Safety briefing for your service or agency please email us. We are also keen to hear and share your experiences of using Signs of Safety in your workplace.