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  • Last resort or best interest? exploring risk and safety factors that inform rates of relocation for young people abused in extra-familial settings

    Firmin, Carlene Emma; Wroe, Lauren; Bernard, D.; (Oxford University Press, 2021-05-06)
    When young people are harmed in extra-familial settings children’s services may place them into care at a distance from their home authority to remove them from contexts in which they are considered ‘at risk’. Guidance and regulation suggest such intervention be used as a last resort and only in a child’s best interests. Using survey and interview data, this paper examines how relocations are used in response to extra-familial harm in 13 children’s services departments in England and Wales – exploring the extent to which they are intended to mitigate risk, or build safety, for young people. Findings demonstrate that rates at which relocations were used varied across participating services. Interview data suggests that variation may be informed by the strategic position a service takes on the use of relocation, the goal(s) of interventions used in cases of extra-familial harm, and the target of these interventions. In considering each of these factors the authors recommend further study into the national (varying) rates of relocation and the role of those who review care-plans for relocated young people; both intending to create conditions in which young people can safely return to their communities should they choose to do so
  • The social model and contextual safeguarding - key messages for practice

    Featherstone, Brid; Firmin, Carlene Emma; Gupta, Anna; Morris, Kate; Wroe, Lauren; Contextual Safeguarding Network; University of Huddersfield; University of Sheffield; University of Bedfordshire; Royal Holloway University (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2020-07-31)
    In this briefing we explore the relationship between Contextual Safeguarding and the Social Model of Child Protection – and the potential that may exist in bringing these two ideas together to create child protection practices that target the social conditions in which abuse occurs. The briefing is divided into three sections. In section one we summarise the two approaches. In the second section we reflect on what the two approaches share and where they may diverge. In the final section we present how they could work together by use of a case study, and make recommendations for how to explore this potential in the future.
  • Contextual safeguarding and case management systems: emerging lessons from across the Contextual Safeguarding programme

    Firmin, Carlene Emma; Contextual Safeguarding Network; University of Bedfordshire (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2020-07-31)
    This briefing summarises emerging lessons for the designers and users of case management systems in children’s services with an interest in Contextual Safeguarding; all information shared in this briefing is taken from the Contextual Safeguarding research programme at the University of Bedfordshire.
  • The legal and policy framework for contextual safeguarding approaches: a 2020 update on the 2018 legal briefing

    Firmin, Carlene Emma; Knowles, Rachel; Contextual Safeguarding Network; University of Bedfordshire (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2020-10-31)
    This briefing considers the extent to which changes made to Working Together to Safeguard Children in 2018, and the existing legislative underpinning that guidance, provide a sufficient policy and practice framework for adopting a Contextual Safeguarding approach. It presents the key messages that emerged from a legal roundtable held in 2020, alongside emergent data from the Contextual Safeguarding programme.
  • Relationship-based practice and contextual safeguarding: key messages for practice

    Owens, Rachael; Ruch, Gillian; Firmin, Carlene Emma; Millar, Hannah; Remes, Ella; Contextual Safeguarding Network; University of Bedfordshire; University of Sussex; Barnardo's (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2020-11-30)
    This briefing explores the relationship between Contextual Safeguarding and Relationship-based Practice within social care and related youth and community work. It considers the potential for bringing these two ideas together to create child protection practices that use relationships to build safety in extra-familial contexts.

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