Signs of Safety and Contextual Safeguarding

Key Messages for Practice

04 Mar 2021

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  • English

Contextual Safeguarding approach ( and the Signs of Safety assessment framework are used by local authorities in the UK to shape how they support children and families in need of support. The teams behind each approach are now working together to understand how they align, and can be used together, so that workers, families, children, young people and those in the broader community experience a collaborative approach.

In this initial briefing paper, we explore the relationship between Contextual Safeguarding and Signs of Safety – and ways that these two approaches can work together when safeguarding young people affected by extra-familial harm, as well as assessing and intervening with extra-familial contexts and groups. 

We also set out how we plan to work together over the next 12–16 months to track pilots in 4 of the existing Contextual Safeguarding pilot sites who are using the Signs of Safety approach, and to consider these findings along with a wider group of local authorities who have an interest in Contextual Safeguarding, with the aim of producing a range of case examples that illustrate an integrated approach.

All learning will be circulated via the Contextual Safeguarding Practice Network and the Signs of Safety Contextual Learning Group.

Last updated Monday, 13 March 2023 3:33:56 PM