Knowsley Council has been successful in an application to the University of Bedfordshire to receive support to embed a contextual safeguarding system within its Children’s Services.

This is fantastic news as 50 local authorities applied, but only five were selected. The success of the application recognises the whole council approach embedded in Knowsley which includes housing, safer communities, education, early help, youth offending and licensing as well as partners including the police, health and schools.

Contextual safeguarding has been developed by Dr Carlene Firm at the University of Bedfordshire to inform policy and practice approaches to safeguarding children and young people that are outside of the more traditional methods which focus on risks from within the family.  The approach involves children’s social care professionals engaging with the child / young person and sectors outside of the family who have influence over the different relationships formed outside of the home environment.

This is another important tool in helping us to protect and safeguarding our children and young people, recognising that children and young people are increasingly being influenced by their peer groups and social media.  Contextual safeguarding aims to reduce the need to move children away from unsafe environments and instead, create safety in the places and communities in which they spend their time.