The aim of the audit is to understand and recognise the positive work that is happening within a site to tackle peer-on-peer abuse. Rather than focussing on the gaps in practice it essential to recognise areas of strength that should be developed. Taking a strengths-based approach means that practitioners’ expertise and understanding is valued and that they are given the confidence needed to develop ideas around contextual safeguarding. Our work in local sites has shown us that delivery plans that build upon the pre-existing good work of an area and understand the geographical contexts of that site will be more successful than plans to radically overhaul pre-existing structures.
The key component of the audit is to recognise how sites understand and respond to the contextual nature of peer-on-peer abuse. While many agencies can recount locations and places where abuse occurs, the purpose of the audit is to assess the extent to which these factors are engaged with in assessments and interventions. A contextually grounded response not only names and identifies contexts but also understands the opportunities and partners with which to engage to effect change.
A key aspect of peer-on-peer abuse is that it manifests in different ways across different forms of abuse. Therefore, responses may look different depending on which agencies are involved and what response is prioritised. The aim of the audit is to assess the extent to which different agencies work together and how responses are aligned. It is important therefore to look across different forms of abuse to ensure that young people are being safeguarded and protected regardless of which agencies they may work with. This means that responses to peer-on-peer abuse need to be aligned and connected. The audit will look across agencies and develop consistency in approaches.