The Signs of Safety (SoS) approach is being implemented across a number of countries and regions and aims to ensure positive outcomes for children within child protection cases.
SoS is a strength-based, safety-orientated approach to child protection, which expands the investigation of risk. Focusing on strengths, while mapping past harm, future harm and complicating factors within a family, it allows an overall judgement on safety to be made. The SoS framework enables practitioners to critically think through and analyse information gathered in order to know if a child is safe, and if their needs are being met.
This project works with ten local authorities to develop a whole system model that would support, monitor and build high-quality SoS practice. The transformational framework covers the structural arrangements, learning strategies, leadership requirements and sustainability needed for the delivery of SoS. The project includes: training for social workers and other professionals, coaching sessions for practice leaders, bi-monthly strategy and networking events and created subgroups, established to explore SoS in relation to key elements of child protection practice.
The DfE-funded independent evaluation published in 2017 found that the project has successfully embedded an organisational commitment to SoS. The approach has been introduced into training for those working in children’s social care, who now utilise the tools and approach in their practice.