What's the role of contextual safeguarding?

Published on 19 Apr 2021

Our latest evidence summary, written by David Orr at Edinburgh City Council, explores the challenges posed to child protection processes in Scotland as a result of the evolving range of risks and harm which children and young people face, as well as the role of contextual safeguarding as an approach to protect them.

In it he asserts that 'child protection practice cannot afford to stand still or to remain too tightly wedded to a view of risk and harm to children that is unduly individualistic and narrowly focussed on the family'. He identifies contextual safeguarding as a framework to complement and strengthen existing child protection practice, particularly when working with adolescents. 

This week, we also release an Iriss.fm interview with Professor Mary Mitchell at the University of Edinburgh and two social workers from the City of Edinburgh Council, Heather Rush and Nicky Hunter, on the topic of family group conferencing or decision making. It explores the use of family group conferencing as one way of holding risk with the older children and adults in a family and agreeing how that risk will be addressed, and how it makes a real difference to families. This forms part of the Recognition Matters project, which brings together knowledge from different pieces of research to strengthen practice and improve the experiences of families.