Service Director's Message

Implementation of Signs of Safety in our work with children and their families is at the heart of our mission to improve our practice and outcomes for children in Cornwall.  A strengths-based model like Signs of Safety accurately reflects our Statement of Mission and Values and our commitment to a more humanistic approach to helping and protecting children.  It also fits with our commitment to a systems analysis of need and risks, and to pro-social learning.

Signs of Safety is supporting our aspiration to “Get to Good”. It has a growing evidence base, here in the UK and internationally.  Children here in Cornwall are already beginning to experience some of the benefits highlighted in research from other Local Authorities and Court jurisdictions.

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Since we first introduced this Signs of Safety, the feedback from children, young people and their families, our practitioners and multi-agency partners has been overwhelmingly positive.

Children and young people feel they are being given a more authentic voice in the key decisions that affect their lives.

Parents and carers say that they feel more empowered to take ownership of concerns about the welfare of their children, because it is based on an understanding of their strengths and the resources they bring to turning things around and improving their child’s life.

Practitioners report they feel more able to respond purposefully and effectively to the complex situations and dilemmas they face.  They also talk about feeling more empowered to have difficult conversations with parents and carers about what needs to change for their child.  This is helping them to find more creative ways of understanding the lived experience of a child and undertaking direct work with them.

We have made really good progress in implementing Signs of Safety but we have more to do.

Over the coming months, we will increase the depth and richness of our application of Signs of Safety across the service. Further changes will be made to our systems and processes to support workers to practice consistently in this way. Further opportunities to enhance practice skills will be made available for practitioners.

It is crucial that all practitioners familiarise themselves with the Signs of Safety approach and demonstrate this learning in their practice. This will become a core requirement for career progression.  The resources available on this website are intended to support practitioners to achieve this and I encourage you to access them.

Best wishes.

Jack Cordery
Service Director (Children and Family Services)
Together for Families
Cornwall Council