Signs of Safety

What is Signs of Safety:

Signs of Safety is a tool kit for how to do child intervention work, used by:

  • Wakefield Council
  • NHS
  • Police
  • Voluntary organisations

It includes:

  • Guidelines for child intervention work
  • How safeguarding professionals should use them
  • A range of tools for assessment and planning
  • Decision making and how to work with children, young people and families
  • Processes when working with families, children and young, including partner agencies.

Dr Andrew Turnell and Steve Edwards developed the Signs of Safety in the 1990s. They used the experiences of child protection workers and what worked best for them with difficult cases.

It focuses on how to build a partnership with parents and children where a child is at risk of abuse, and strengthen and stabilise their family life.

We will use this joined-up approach to work with other organisations to use Signs of Safety in Wakefield.

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Signs of Safety outcomes:

  • Families feel more empowered and can understand and address the concerns
  • Fewer children removed from families that are working closely with authorities
  • Greater job satisfaction for practitioners due to the clear approach, purposeful tools and the impact for the children, young people and families
  • Fewer referrals and improved outcomes
  • Placing the child at the heart of the process and building a safety network around their care
  • Working with families and not against them as part of a “blame culture”
  • Creating a shared language to manage risk, using plain English that families and children can understand
  • Developing a practice framework and culture across all child protection responses for all organisations

How will we do this across Wakefield District?

The Children and Young People’s Partnership – made up of senior managers and practitioners from the Council, Health, Police and voluntary organisations – will lead on this change in Wakefield.

We have created a steering group and structure with clear organisation for reporting.

It outlines seven key work-streams to support a whole system change.

Signs of Safety will support the development of a common approach to working with all children, young people and families. This approach will be developed to be used from early help through to child protection cases, looked after children and those with special needs.

Practice leads and staff will have training on how to use the Signs of Safety tools and the skills of senior leaders will be developed to drive a whole system change.

For more information about Signs of Safety, please contact Anne-Marie Spencer on 01924 306548 or by emailing the Signs of Safety inbox at .

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