Signs of Safety
Cheshire East is adopting Signs of Safety as our way of working with families because this will support us to achieve the type of service that children, young people, parents and carers have told us they want. Best practice is child-focused, solution-orientated, and respectful and inclusive of families, and this is what we want to achieve through adopting Signs of Safety.
Where Signs of Safety has been adopted by other local authorities it has been welcomed by families. Families have reported that (often for the first time) they are clear about what services expect from them. Families particularly like that their views and strengths are acknowledged as well as their weaknesses understood.
Signs of Safety is now widely recognised internationally as the leading approach to child protection casework. It provides a clear framework for how to do the work within children’s services; how to build relationships with families and work effectively with them to achieve strong outcomes for children and young people.
Signs of Safety will change the way we work so that we can involve families fully in decision making. It will affect:
- how we carry out assessments and how we create plans
- the types of questions we ask
- how we conduct meetings
- the language we use and how we explain what’s happening
Our Signs of Safety Strategy (PDF, 2MB) sets out what using Signs of Safety involves, what we want to achieve through adopting Signs of Safety, and how we will do this in Cheshire East.
Changes you will see
The types of questions you will be asked at the front door will change from November 2017. These questions will be based around the Signs of Safety approach:
- What we’re worried about
- What’s working well
- What needs to happen
- Scaling from 0-10
The questions will be used to try to build up a full picture of the risks that considers boththe concerns and the strengths and protective factors in the family. For more information please see this list of the types of questions you might be asked.
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