June 20, 2019 - 9:30 am
June 20, 2019 - 3:45 pm
AddressAston University, The Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 7ET View map
Most safeguarding and child protection work focuses upon the family environment of the child or young person thought to be at risk.
The Contextual Safeguarding approach, developed at the University of Bedfordshire, argues that this is only part of the picture. For older children in particular, influences outside the family are fundamental to assessing risk – and fundamental to safeguarding adolescents.
It offers a robust approach to high level risks such as child sexual exploitation and gang involvement. Importantly, Contextual Safeguarding does not seek to replace individual family interventions, but to complement and enhance them.
What is Contextual Safeguarding?
Contextual Safeguarding requires that an assessment of a young person takes into account the social or public environment (peer group, school, neighbourhood) in which they operate, as well as their family or private environment. As children get older, they spend more time in public spheres and become increasingly influenced by them. Parents often have little control over these environments, where young people may be exposed to positive, healthy norms which promote good social relationships, or they may encounter harmful norms that are conducive to abusive and exploitative relationships.
Consequently, professionals need to identify and assess the social environments in which a young person operates, and interventions need to take place in social as well as family spheres. The approach is based upon collecting and analysing intelligence gathered by professionals across a range of services.
In summary, Contextual Safeguarding:
- Recognises the weight of peer influence on young people’s decisions
- Extends the notion of ‘capacity to safeguard’ beyond the family
- Provides a framework in which referrals can be made for contextual interventions which complement work with individuals and families
Contextual Safeguarding in practice
Contextual Safeguarding builds upon the work of systemic approaches (which also consider the social systems within which individuals operate) by looking at making change to the systems themselves – for example, making a school safe rather than moving a child to another school.
The concept was developed from a three-year review of operational responses to peer-on-peer abuse and provides a framework to advance the safeguarding of children and young people. Most of the initial development focus has been in the area of adolescent safeguarding, and a two-year DfE-funded pilot is almost complete in the London Borough of Hackney’s Children and Young People’s Services. This has led to a number of practical developments including safety mapping, a Neighbourhood Assessment Toolkit, and a School Assessment Toolkit.
Last year, Big Lottery funding was secured to support three local authority areas in England and Wales to create Contextual Safeguarding systems – building on the lessons and resources that have emerged from Hackney.
This learning day offers an opportunity to understand the theory and practice of Contextual Safeguarding, a major new development in safeguarding children and young people.
[Much of the information included above has been drawn, with her permission, from the published work of Dr Carlene Firmin]
“Child protection procedures do not adequately intervene to address risks faced by young people outside of the home. As young people get older their experiences of abuse are often associated with public environments in which they spend their time. Yet child protection procedures routinely intervene with individual young people and their families rather than the public environments where abuse occurs.”
Contextual Safeguarding Network website - https://contextualsafeguarding.org.uk/about/the-contextual-safeguarding-network
“Positive peer relationships and extra familial factors can also contribute to the resilience of, and protection available to, a young person.
For example, young people who are living with domestic violence at home may be exposed to safe and positive relationships with peers at school.”
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018: Consultation response to the inclusion of Contextual Safeguarding in revised guidance
This learning day aims to offer professionals from a range of front-line services an opportunity to understand the theory and practice of Contextual Safeguarding, a major new development in safeguarding children and young people:
- The critical importance of context in safeguarding high risk children and young people, and why a contextual approach can offer higher impact interventions
- The development of Contextual Safeguarding based upon reviewing real-life cases
- The key components of a Contextual Safeguarding system including intelligence gathering
- Examples of the application of Contextual Safeguarding to practice examples, including results from the Hackney pilot
The concept of Contextual Safeguarding has been developed by Dr Carlene Firmin and colleagues at the University of Bedfordshire. Carlene was one of the first researchers to highlight, and speak out about, the sexual exploitation of girls by gangs.
The learning day will be facilitated by Dr Carlene Firmin and Dr Lauren Wroe from the Contextual Safeguarding Unit of the University of Bedfordshire.
Comments from previous learning days:
“Excellent …..very relevent to my role and responsibility to develop practice and awareness”
“Useful and interesting, thought provoking; exciting”
Agenda (subject to change)
9.30 – 10.00
Registration and coffee
10.00 – 10.10
Welcome and introduction
10.10 – 11.10
The challenge we face: adolescent development, vulnerability, risk and why context matters
11.10 – 11.30
11.30 – 12.40
Building a contextual understanding of risk
- An interactive case study
- Themes emerging from case reviews
12.40 – 1.30
1.30 – 2.30
The building blocks of a contextual safeguarding approach
- Existing child protection schemes – a reflection on limitations in practice and policy
- The components of a contextual safeguarding system
- Contextualising a child protection system, safeguarding partnership or social care team – steps to take and key considerations
2.30 – 2.45
2.45 – 3.45
Contextual safeguarding in practice
- Multi-agency practices – implications for referral, assessment and intervention
- Examples from the field
- Tools developed through the Hackney pilot
- Future scaling up
Final questions and close of day
- Children’s and family social services
- Local Safeguarding Children Boards
- Children’s charities
- Youth workers, gangs projects, and CSE specialists
- Education support, including education welfare and exclusions
- Youth justice professionals
- Community safety
- Organisations which work in the night time economy
- Social housing
- Substance misuse services
- Community health services
- Mental health services
- Public health
- Trading standards
- Environmental health services
The training will take place in Birmingham City Centre:
Conference Aston Meeting Suites
The Aston Triangle,
Venue telephone – 0121 204 4300
New Street, Snow Hill and Moor Street train stations are all within 20 minutes walk of the venue or a 5 minute taxi journey.
Car parking and direction information
Follow this link for a downloadable map, directions and car park information: http://www.conferenceaston.co.uk/attending-an-event/how-do-i-get-to-you/
There are pay and display car parks on-site but spaces must be booked in advance – follow the link above to do this.
There is a hotel on-site in the Aston Business School
Follow this link for costs, details of rooms and booking information:
THIS EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED
£130 + VAT = £156
*Team of 3 (3rd person attends for half price) £325 + VAT = £390
*Team of 5 (5th person attends for free) £520 + VAT = £624
ring 0115 916 3104 for details.
Included in the delegate package:
- Delegate pack
- Refreshments available throughout the day
Booking Terms and Conditions
Cancellations received up to and including 30 May 2019 will be refunded in full less an administration fee of 25%. Cancellations received after this date will be liable for payment in full.
*Team bookings are non-cancellable but substitute delegates will always be accepted.
The full invoice amount will remain payable if you fail to attend the event, however, substitute delegates will be accepted up until, and including, the day of the event.
CANCELLATIONS SHOULD BE MADE IN WRITING TO email@example.com AND WILL BE ACKNOWLEDGED BY RETURN.
Confirmation of booking:
Your booking will be confirmed by email where possible (and by fax or post otherwise), and you will be provided with directions to the venue and details on nearby hotel accommodation. If you do not receive such acknowledgement, please contact Central Conference Consultants Ltd on 0115 916 3104.