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Workshop 1 Signs of Safety A Strengths Based Approach to keep children safe. Jayne Forsdike Childrens Safeguarding Standards Manager. Workshop agenda. Overview SoS model SoS in Newcastle Early Intervention and SoS Exercise Feedback Questions . Signs of Safety.

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workshop 1 signs of safety a strengths based approach to keep children safe

Workshop 1Signs of Safety A Strengths Based Approach to keep children safe

Jayne Forsdike

Childrens Safeguarding

Standards Manager

workshop agenda
Workshop agenda
  • Overview SoS model
  • SoS in Newcastle
  • Early Intervention and SoS
  • Exercise
  • Feedback
  • Questions
signs of safety
Signs of Safety

A model underpinned by solution focused ideas that gives a whole approach to CP work


Partnership approach focusing on building safety rather than trying to eliminate danger

Asking helpful questions

Evidence based; searching for detail

Organising Information


Collaborative planning

Harnessing professional and family ideas and resources

how signs of safety came about
How Signs of Safety came about

Turnell & Edwards Collaboration

Interested in how SFBT fitted with Child Protection work

Learning from what works well - looking at examples of good engagement

how do we build safety
How do we build safety?

We create safety through partnership and collaboration

Partnership with parents/carers

Collaboration between agencies

characteristics of the tool
Characteristics of the tool

Designed to be used with young people and their families

Focuses on the key current issues

Highlights what is already working well

Can trigger immediate progress

Developed from practice

Only one page

danger harm
Danger / Harm

Descriptions of past harm

Complicating factors

Statements of danger regarding the children

- Look for specific detail

- Pay attention to language

safety strengths
Safety / Strengths

What safety currently exists

What are the strengths of this family

Meaningful in terms of identified danger/harm


scaling safety
Scaling Safety

Safety scale

0 = reoccurrence is certain, 10 = there is sufficient safety to closed the case

creating planning through goal setting
Creating planning through goal setting

Defining the agency goals – required outcomes

Defining the family goals – desired outcomes

Building a safety plan WITH THE FAMILY









danger harm14
Danger / Harm

Jenny has just started a relationship with Stephen who has been convicted and been in prison for downloading about 500 pornographic images of children. These were very serious images of children being sexually abused.

Stephen met Jenny on the internet in June 2007, 2 months after being released from prison. The conditions of his release stipulated that he could not own or access the internet.

danger harm continued
Danger / Harm - continued

Stephen did not tell his supervising officer that he had used the internet or started a relationship

Stephen still says he did not deliberately download the child pornography even though he had saved it on his computer. He has provided different explanations for example – ‘he was looking for adult pornography.’

Stephen created elaborately forged letters written as if they were from the prison Governor saying that he had been wrongfully convicted and subsequently pardoned and that that he posed no risk to children. Stephen showed this letter to Jenny, his doctor and prospective employers

danger harm continued16
Danger / Harm - continued

Stephen’s supervising probation officer has assessed him as posing a high risk of re-offending

Jenny believes Stephen and does not think he is a risk to children

Stephen and Jenny say that Sarah has not met Stephen. Sarah told a teacher that mum has a new boyfriend and she has talked to him on the phone


Mum agrees that Stephen will have no contact of any kind with Sarah whilst we carry out our enquiries

For the next 6 months, Stephen has licence conditions preventing him living with any child under 16 years

His supervising officer will have weekly contact with him whilst Stephen is on licence


1. Sarah goes to school every day and is achieving well

2. School have never been concerned about her

3. Jenny sees her dad and he plays an active role in her live

4. Sarah is meeting all of her developmental milestones

5. Sarah sees the doctor when necessary and has a dentist.

scaling danger
Scaling Danger



Sarah at risk of

abuse from Stephen


additional information representing danger harm
Additional information representing Danger / Harm

Stephen’s sister has disclosed that when she was 7 and Stephen was 12, he got into bed with her and tried to sexually assault her

2. Stephen told the social worker that he was sexually abused by his step-dad when he was a child and that he was looking on the internet for material about child abuse that he could read to help him recover from his childhood experiences

3. Jenny and Stephen say that they plan to marry and live together in the future

additional information representing safety
Additional information representing Safety

Sarah has confirmed to the social worker that she is not having any contact with Stephen

Sarah's birth father has been made aware of the risks and will be checking that there isn’t any contact between Stephen and his daughter

Sarah's maternal aunt has also been made aware of the risks. She is taking the concerns seriously

Stephen’s sister sees the risks and has said that if she learns that Stephen is seeing Sarah, she will inform the agencies

Sarah's school teachers have also been informed and are keeping a close eye on her

scaling danger21
Scaling Danger



Sarah at risk of

abuse from Stephen



The social worker has concluded that Stephen poses a significant risk of harm to Sarah and therefore a multi-agency child protection plan is needed in order to develop and maintain safety in the long term

uses of signs of safety
Uses of Signs of Safety

Assessments (including an adaptation for early intervention – Signs of Well-being)

Tool for worker to organise their thinking

Case consultations / Supervision

Planning meetings

Child protection conferences

Being used around the country and around the world

benefits of signs of safety approach
Benefits of Signs of Safety Approach

Increased confidence in workers

Able to commit to assessments & judgments based on a balance of information/evidence

Help workers get unstuck in difficult & protracted cases

Minimal paperwork

signs of safety in newcastle
Signs of Safety In Newcastle

Implementation across children's workforce

Practitioners and managers trained

Champions identified with representation from key partner agencies

Model of good practice

Signs of Safety Pilot – Child Protection Conferences

Training embedded through NSCB