Developing contextual responses to the abuse and exploitation of young people



Last updated: Wed 02, 2019

Contextual safeguarding in practice: Hackney

The Contextual Safeguarding team at the International Centre (IC) are working with colleagues from the London Borough of Hackney to implement contextual safeguarding, using the IC model of contextual safeguarding.

This exciting new project, funded by the Department for Education Innovation Fund, will run for two years. Through the process of systematic change, contextual safeguarding will be fully implemented across Hackney Children and Young People’s Services by the end of the second year, enabling the borough to effectively and innovatively safeguard children and adolescents beyond the home.

Working with the network

Hackney will be working closely with the contextual safeguarding network throughout the project to share learning with network members. For members of the Contextual Safeguarding network, the project will provide excellent learning and insight into contextual safeguarding in practice for practitioners and local authorities across the country.

Hackney will also be building on the wealth of knowledge and expertise across the membership. We are therefore gathering examples of great practice and key insights contextual practice being carried out. This is an excellent opportunity to share good practice that will be fed into work in Hackney. If you have an example or contextual approach you would like to share please get in touch (e:

Resources and tools from Hackney


Neighbourhood Assessment Framework

Start by reading this neighbourhood assessment guidance. This includes the background to carrying out a neighbourhood assessment and the assessment framework.

This toolkit includes a range of tools for carrying out a school assessment including: videos, student and parent surveys, staff engagement and an assessment framework.

These new resources and podcast explain how to conduct safety mapping to help practitioners identify areas of risk and safety in their local neighbourhood. Safety mapping can be used for safety planning with children, families and networks.

This case study exercise is a composite case study used to support practitioners to think through putting contextual safeguarding theory into practice. Here we include background information, guidance for practitioners and key resources for delivery.

These new resources and podcast outline how to carry out a contextual case consultation. They can be be used to support practitioners think through the different elements of cases of extra-familial risk to develop effective interventions.

Shared learning and updates from Hackney

In December 2018 the Contextual Safeguarding team in Hackney held a national learning event to share learning from the benefits of a Contextual Safeguarding System and how this can be effectively implemented in practice.

Posted: Wed Jan, 2019

Hackney has created an Extra-Familial Risk Panel (EFRP) to review cases of young people (as individuals or in groups) at risk of causing or experiencing harm outside the home and take action to address the risk.

Posted: Thu Dec, 2018

A Context Safeguarding Conference is a meeting akin to a Child Protection Conference but, instead of focusing on an individual child, it focuses on a particular location (such as a school, peer groups or a neighbourdhood). Our Context Safeguarding Conference was held to review the neighbourhood assessment we conducted in Hackney and implement a targeted partnership response to reducing identified risks of harm in the neighbourhood.

Posted: Wed Nov, 2018

James Sykes, Safeguarding in Education Consultant for Hackney Learning Trust and chair of the Schools workstream for the Contextual Safeguarding Project in Hackney, reflects on how contextual approaches have helped him to engage and support schools as key safeguarding partners.

Posted: Wed Oct, 2018

Graham Goulden (Cultivating Minds UK) explains how a Mentors in Violence Prevention Programme (MVP), developed in the USA to tackle sexual violence on university campuses and replicated in the Scottish high school setting, uses creative bystander approaches to preventing violence.

Posted: Wed Aug, 2018

Contextualising case management systems

Ross Tuckley is part of a working group in Hackney's Children and Families Services which is looking at developing Mosaic (the social work case management system) to record peer group and location referrals. In this podcast, Ross tells us about the work he has been leading on Mosaic in Hackney.

The contextual safeguarding project in Hackney is already one year into its delivery. This brief update highlights key pieces of work developed so far and priorities for the project moving forward.

Posted: Wed Jun, 2018

This week we feature a guest blog from Soulmaz Bashirinia. Soulmaz is a Service Manager in Hackney Children and Families Services who are working in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire to implement a contextual safeguarding framework to work with vulnerable adolescents. In this article she  gives an overview of the project and shares initial learning.

Posted: Wed Aug, 2017

In this latest blog, Rachael Owens from the Contextual Safeguarding Team in Hackney reflects on a recent Hackney Children and Families Services initiative designed to safeguard a peer group of young women through group work. Rachael shares a conversation held with one member of the parents and carers group, capturing the impact of this approach and presenting key learning for practice and for the Contextual Safeguarding team to consider going forwards. 

Posted: Wed Oct, 2017

In this latest blog, Simone Nyarko (Consultant Social Worker) provides a brief update on the progress made in the Contextual Safeguarding work and developments in Hackney.

Posted: Wed Feb, 2018

We welcome Delphine Girma who is replacing Ruth Atkinson as Research Assistant on the Hackney project. Delphine joined the International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking in July 2017 and previously worked in the voluntary sector.

Posted: Wed Mar, 2018

New guidance on peer group assessments and peer group mapping including a peer assessment framework, activities for using with young people and peer mapping tools.

For any further questions about the project please email

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