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Lewisham Safeguarding Children Partnership

If you are worried about the welfare or safety of a child or young person

Email: mashagency@lewisham.gov.uk

Tel: 020 8314 6660

Lewisham Safeguarding Children Partnership

Email: safeguardingpartnership@lewisham.gov.uk

Tel: 020 8314 3396

Signs of Safety Partnership Briefing

Target Group: Professionals who work directly with children, young people and families, and who contribute to assessing, planning, intervening, and reviewing the needs of a child or young person

Alex Campbell, Signs of Safety Practice Lead & Imogen Sibley-Calder, Child Protection Chair

Children's Social Care

Time of Session: 9:30am to 1pm

Monday 10th January 2022

Friday 4th February 2022

Delegates: 20 spaces

Lewisham Children’s Social Care has adopted Signs of Safety as its overarching practice framework for working with children and families.

The Signs of Safety practice approach created by Andrew Turnell and Steve Edwards (Turnell and Ewards,1999) sought to address the default paternalism or colonisation of child protection systems where professionals believe they know what is wrong and what must be done to solve the problems. If children are to stay in and be reunited with the families and communities where they belong professionals and families need to think through the problems and solutions together. Most assessment frameworks are professional enterprises designed for professional audiences and families and children are often left confused and alienated. The Signs of Safety assessment process is designed to bring professionals and families together using a straightforward assessment and planning protocol focused on four core questions:

  1. What are we worried about?
  2. What’s working well?
  3. What needs to happen?
  4. Where would you rate things for the child on a scale of 0 to 10 where ten means the child is safe and professionals can close the case and 0 means the situation is dangerous for the child and they very likely need to live away from their parents until things change?

The professional’s role is to bring forward their concerns without minimising the seriousness, in a plain language the family can understand, and rather than jump to answers lead by asking questions to elicit detailed answers from a family and their community to those four questions. To energise the partnership with a family it is vital that professionals find eyes to see, ears to hear and the voice to honour everything that has and is going well around the child in their family and community.

This shared assessment process is the foundation to build a professional and family agreed safety plan and a clear trajectory to achieve it. Within the Signs of Safety approach, safety is defined as actions that will be taken by adults and sometimes the young person themselves to ensure the child is safe and cared for when the danger is present. Signs of Safety offers a suite of practical tools and practice methods to support this behaviourally detailed safety building work.

Aims and Objectives of half day briefing:

  • To develop an understanding of the Signs of Safety principles and practice framework and how it is applied within Children’s Services
  • To gain a working knowledge of the Signs of Safety mapping assessment framework
  • How to use the framework to make effective contributions to multi-agency meetings such as child protection conferences and Child in need Reviews/Core Groups
  • Writing pre-conference reports or making referrals to MASH using the mapping framework
  • Supporting the process of safety planning with the family and network
  • Ensuring the voice of the child and their lived experience is heard/understood
  • The skilful use of authority and maintaining positive working relationship with family and professionals

To View and Book please follow this link: https://www.safeguardinglewisham.org.uk/events/event/signs-of-safety-partnership-briefing 


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