When we deliver training with practitioners on contextual safeguarding we use case study exercises to support practitioners to think through putting contextual safeguarding theory into practice. Feedback we have received from training shows the value of these interactive activities for getting practitioners to think about peer-on-peer abuse, extra-familial risk and creative interventions. We are now making these resources available so that Network members can use the case study in their own training. This case study exercise is a composite case study created from several case reviews we have carried out nationally and with support from practitioners at Hackney Children and Families services.
On this page you will find the PowerPoint presentation with the case study exercise, assessment sheets and context slips. The PowerPoint slides include additional notes on questions to ask at each stage. The case study exercise involves a sexual assault between three young people – Anastasia, Ben and Chris. The purpose of the case study is to get participants to think about what to do when harm happens between young people outside of the home, what are some the social and cultural rules that aggravate harm, who are the important partners to build responses and how can the incident be responded to, and further incidents prevented.
The activity should take about one hour. Make sure to print out the ‘context strips’ and cut them out, also print the assessment sheets. Depending on the size of the group split people into small groups. It is preferable to have a group for each young person of about five per group and more groups if necessary . Give each group some context strips and one assessment sheet per group then allocate a young person per group – Anastasia, Ben and Chris.
Start by explaining the case study, at each stage, more information will be revealed about each young person. At each stage the groups need to order the context strips from where they think the young person is safest to least safe. They should base this decision on their view as practitioners, not from the perspective of the young person. Start by revealing information about the incident and the individuals. Give participants time to discuss, arrange their context strips and feedback to the group with any questions and ideas. They will likely feel frustrated at the lack of information they have.
Continue to reveal more information about each context and ask participants to discuss and re-arrange their strips if they would like. The key thing is to consider the different locations where young people encounter harm, the social and cultural norms in those places, what agencies are involved and what might be protective or aggravating factors. Complete the exercise by discussing as group a series of interventions and which agencies would manage these. An additional activity could provide participants with the opportunity to think through their own cases in this way.
If you use the case study activity we would love to hear from you. What did you find useful or any changes you would suggest.
Resources for delivery
Case study activity
This document provides the case study activity, to be carried out as part of Contextual Safeguarding training.
Resources pack - assessment sheet
This assessment sheet resource is needed to carry out the case study activity.
Resources pack - context strips
These context strips are needed to carry out the activity. You will need to print several copies and cut them out.