Employer Zone

Lincolnshire County Council

Applying the Signs of Safety practice model

Photo: Kamasigns/Fotolia

Exploring how this practice model has helped to improve service delivery for social workers

Lincolnshire was an early adopter of Signs of Safety – an innovative, strengths-based, solutions-focused approach to working with families.

There is regular Signs of Safety training in Lincolnshire, and Signs of Safety leads throughout the service to help support new starters who may be less familiar with the approach. The aim is to continue to develop the practice for those who are looking to grow their career here.

It is an assessment and planning framework supporting practitioners in determining:

  • Whether there is sufficient safety for the child to remain within the family, and what support is needed to aid the family in that transition;
  • Whether the situation is so dangerous that the child must be removed;
  • If the child is looked after, whether there is enough safety for the child to return home.

Signs of Safety was developed from a spirit of appreciative inquiry, and the heart of the process revolves around a risk assessment and case planning format that is meaningful for all the professionals, the parents and children.

Developed by Eileen Munro, Lincolnshire chose to adopt it as a way of successfully implementing her vision for child protection from the Munro review.

Meetings, supervision, panels and assessments are framed using the Signs of Safety approach.