Signs of Safety

Signs of Safety is an innovative strengths-based, safety-organised approach to child protection casework.  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.

Although it was primarily developed as an approach to working with child protection, it is equally applicable to:

  • Working relationships

  • “Thinking critically and fostering a stance of inquiry” (Munro) – questioning approach

  • Landing grand aspirations in everyday practice

  • Families as assets – honour and build on their strengths

  • Fostering hope not hopelessness

  • Help families to make changes for themselves

  • Apply relationship based practice

  • Putting children at the heart of how we plan and deliver support to them

  • Importance of direct work with children and families

  • We have nothing more to learn from mistakes – need to spend more time looking at strengths

  • August 2016 LSCB endorse approach

  • 2 day training begins September 2016

  • By September 380 staff will have completed 2 day training

  • 80 practice leads attended 5 day training in July 2017 plus ongoing coaching programme

  • LSCB partner briefings Sept/Oct 2017 which trained over 300 professionals

At the Signs of Safety (SoS) briefing sessions you told us what was going well in Cumbria. You told us that you had seen that paperwork had been updated including templates, and you reported some changes in the  use of language. You also told us that the LSCB was more evident and the website was more accessible with lots of relevant information and that it was a positive step forward that Cumbria had adopted the SoS model.
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