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Signs of Safety Terminology and Trademarks

A guide to adaptations of the Signs of Safety practice approach

03 Jun 2024

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  • English

Signs of Safety has evolved over the years from its first application to child protection to being increasingly used in all areas of children’s services. This is a brief guide to the adaptations that are protected by registered trademarks:


What Is a Trademark?

The term trademark refers to a recognizable insignia, phrase, word, or symbol that denotes a specific product and legally differentiates it from all other products of its kind. A trademark exclusively identifies a product as belonging to a specific company and recognizes the company's ownership of the brand. Trademarks are generally considered a form of intellectual property and may or may not be registered (denoted by ®).


Signs of Safety®

Core risk assessment framework bringing the family and child into the centre of decision making and safety planning when there are concerns about child protection. Used by children’s services practitioners working with children and families. 


Signs of Success®

This term is primarily used in the UK when working with children in out of home care, using adaptations of the Signs of Safety tools and techniques. In some jurisdictions it is used alongside Signs of Belonging® (see below).  Signs of Success is also used in some jurisdictions in Youth Justice when working with for teenagers or young people in the justice system.


Signs of Belonging®

Signs of Belonging is an offshoot of the Signs of Safety approach focused on alternative care services for young people with the aim of encouraging the full participation of child/teenager, their parents and their naturally connected kin and network to maximise the possibility to get the child back home or into kinship care as quickly as possible and to best ensure the child remains connected to their family, culture and people if they remain in long term/permanent care).


Signs of Wellbeing®

This term is used when working with children and their families where there are concerns about their welfare (children in need), but they do not meet the threshold for child protection. Broadly speaking this term applies to family welfare or family support services (Early Help in the UK) and children with disabilities. Adapted versions of Signs of Safety resources are used to work with the parents and their networks.


Signs of Something

This is an umbrella term used to describe adapting the essential elements of the Signs of Safety framework to make an assessment beyond the usual application (for example, signs of an effective team) – it is not trademarked.

This table shows how the language in the assessment domains varies across the adaptations:



This is also available in Swedish and Dutch to subscribers to the Knowledge Bank here

Last updated Monday, 3 June 2024 8:21:00 PM