For Contextual Safeguarding to be evident in a local area, extra-familial relationships and contexts need to be evident in the way that plans are developed and agreed following assessment. This must be visible in two ways.
Firstly, when agencies or individuals are holding strategy discussions or child protection conferences following assessments, these planning meetings need to appropriately consider relevant factors within a young person’s peer relationships, school and neighbourhood which may influence the success of the plan being put in place. Have attempts been made during the assessment and analysis of findings to gather the young person and parents/carers views about safety in extra-familial contexts? How have these matters been attended to in the plan? Will they significantly influence the capacity of a young person’s parent to be protective?
Secondly, is it possible for agencies to come together to develop/review a plan following the assessment of an extra-familial context? What are the structures in place for doing this – and at varying levels of need?
In relation to each of these questions there are several matters to consider. There are outlined in the document below: 'Embedding CS in Planning Structures'.
This component of the Contextual Safeguarding Implementation Toolkit provides examples of how children and families service, and their wider partners, are responding to these questions and offers resources to be adapted or applied by services who are attempting to embed Contextual Safeguarding into their meeting and planning processes.