Contextual Safeguarding

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IF YOU BELIEVE A CHILD OR YOUNG PERSON IS AT SIGNIFICANT RISK OF IMMINENT HARM OR DANGER, YOU HAVE A STATUTORY (LEGAL) DUTY TO REPORT THIS THROUGH YOUR LINE-MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.

SAFEGUARDING IS EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS.  IF YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT A CHILD OR YOUNG PERSON, TELL SOMEONE IN YOUR ORGANISATION. 

Contextual Safeguarding is our stock-in-trade.  We have been promoting Contextual Safeguarding through Holistic Assessment for more than a decade and we’re really good at it!

We are systemic practitioners so we believe as part of our Core Values that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.  In other words, we understand that whatever we see presented as The Issue, is likely to be an EFFECT of something else, not a CAUSE. 

We understand that undesirable behaviour or difficult presentation in children and young people is usually a means of communication rather than stand-alone behaviour and as such, we’re interested in finding the cause of the issue, not just dealing with the effects.

What is contextual safeguarding?

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Contextual Safeguarding is a way of assessing potential risk to an individual by being interested in, and curious about, the individual’s own CONTEXT – their wider environment and all the things in that environment which could impact their development or put their safety at risk. 

Our Holistic Assessment Framework is born from curiosity about context.  We’re interested in finding out everything that could have an adverse impact on a child – from historic or current trauma (Domestic Abuse, for example) to something as straight-froward as moving home or changing schools. 

 

As a matter of course, our assessment is curious about: 

  • Current / historic Domestic Abuse (DA) & other Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

  • Attachment issues and difficulties

  • Peer on peer relationship abuse

  • Criminal / sexual exploitation / online abuse

  • Missing episodes / episodes of Statutory Agency involvement

  • Risks associated with gangs

  • Risks associated with radicalisation

  • Safeguarding risks in public spaces

  • Trafficking and modern slavery

contextual-safeguarding; contextual; holistic-assessment; what-is-contextual-safeguarding; adverse-childhool-experiences; systemic; safeguarding

JLTS believes that all of us are what we are because of where we came from and that all our experiences and interactions in life have an impact on us.  If we can find the experience or interaction that upset the status quo – the thing that changed ‘normal’ functioning – we can work to resolve that issue once and properly.    

Our services are organic so they shift and change with the changing needs of the family we’re working with.  All of our interventions are bespoke; designed to fit the family in question rather than expecting the family to fit a pre-determined intervention. 

There are very few things that are truly unresolvable and, regardless of how challenging or difficult it may be to resolve the issue, we will commit to working with a family until we find the right intervention or resolution.

Our methods have proved successful time and again as we maintain a child-centred focus.  We gauge our success (or not) with a particular intervention by the improvement (or not) of the original issue.  We communicate and feedback constantly with ALL the relevant people in a childs life to ensure that we’re making a real difference and not just delivering services.    

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Contextual Safeguarding through
Holistic Assessment

We recently worked with a family where the ‘presenting issue’ was anxiety in the child.  Following Holistic Assessment it became evident that the real root of the issue was a problem in the relationship between the grown-ups. 

 

By intervening in the right place – with the grown-ups - we’ve lowered the presenting anxiety of the child by at least 50% within 4 weeks without ever having to intervene directly with the child.    

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Image by Mel Poole