Contextual Safeguarding

What is Contextual Safeguarding?

Contextual safeguarding is an approach which considers a framework for understanding the wider factors and scenarios that could put a child at risk of harm. Quite often, the focus of 'risk of harm' is intrafamilial (within the home environment), however many other risks pose a threat to a vulnerable child or young person within the wider context, i.e. outside the home and are equally important when identifying safeguarding concerns.

We are all responsible for creating safe spaces together which we can do through partnership working.

Take a look at some of the resources below to help inform your practice and find support or read more in our one minute guide to contextual safeguarding here.

The Principles of Contextual Safeguarding

This short 4 minute 30 second video gives an excellent explaination of Contextual Safeguading and its core principles.

  • Text link image What is the Contextual Safeguarding Framework?
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    To view an operational, strategic and conceptual overview of the Contextual Safeguarding framework by Carlene Firmin click here.

  • Text link image Your Guide to Contextual Safeguarding
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    A useful tool to use when working with vulnerable children

    To access the guide, please click here.

  • Text link image How the language we use can open up contextual opportunitites to keep children safe
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    A short video by Carlene Firmin which looks at the language we use when discussing extra-familial harm.

    Aimed at social workers but is relevant for other agencies when assessing and reporting. View ‘Language in Social Work – Contextual Safeguarding’

An introduction to Contextual Safeguarding

Carlene Firmin explores the concept of contextual safeguarding with this introductory webinar on extra-familial harm.

Approx 30 mins

The Contextual Safeguarding Network

This website has a wealth of information, links to videos, podcasts, briefings and many other up to date resources from peer on peer abuse to safety mapping to harmful sexual behaviour and much more.

Find out more here

Click here for their online learning programme

Join the network

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Rewriting the rules of Child Protection

In this ground-breaking talk Dr Firmin, the founder of Contextual Safeguarding outlines three things.

  • One: how contexts beyond families are associated with abuse.
  • Two: how traditional child protection systems fail to engage with these contextual dynamics.
  • Three: the components of the Contextual Safeguarding system that would redefine what child protection means.
  • 15 mins
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