Signs of Safety
The implementation of Signs of Safety is fully supported by the South Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board. In December 2015 members of the board attended a development morning where they received a briefing about the Signs of Safety model. They then undertook an exercise where they identified what their organisations and practitioners will need to assist children’s social care in implementing Signs of Safety, in order to work in a joined up and multi-agency way.
South Gloucestershire is committed to implementing the Signs of Safety approach as our core, multi-agency approach to working with families and managing risk where children are in need of early help and protection. Signs of Safety 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.
What is Signs of Safety?
The Signs of Safety approach focuses on ‘How can the (social) worker build partnerships with parents and children in situations of suspected or substantiated child abuse and still deal rigorously with the child protection/safeguarding issues?’
Practitioners supporting families work together to look at the strengths (what’s going well in the child’s life), the worries and concerns identified (who is worried and why) and focus on what needs to be done (outcomes) to build on the strengths, reduce the concerns and keep the child safe. This is known as a strengths and safety based approach.
Signs of Safety expands on 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 help practitioners and families throughout the child protection process, whatever the setting (statutory, hospital, residential or treatment).
Why are we using the Signs of Safety approach in South Gloucestershire?
The Signs of Safety approach is being adopted in South Gloucestershire to:
- embed a unified approach to risk management across all of our children’s services, providing a common language and practice framework
- contribute towards ensuring an integrated culture within children’s services.
- reclaim professional practice and support workers in developing evidence based professional skills.