Signs of Safety implementation in Dumfries and Galloway

Social Work are implementing an approach called ‘Signs of Safety’ –  a strength and safety-organised approach to working with children and families.

It will provide a framework, tools, disciplines and principles for the work.

The Signs of Safety practice framework revolves around risk assessment, risk management and care planning.

Signs of Safety integrates professional knowledge with knowledge from families and their wider networks to rigorously explore harm and danger alongside existing strengths and safety within the family.

It aims to work in partnership with families to reduce risks and increase safety by building on the family’s strengths, resources and networks to change the everyday lived experience of the child.

Dumfries and Galloway is at the very beginning of the two-year implementation phase.

They have started by predominantly training social work staff in children’s services but will be offering briefings and some bespoke service area training to partner agencies.

The changes are expected to be gradual over a period of time with a formal launch in November.

Partner agencies and professionals working with Children and Families Social Work services can expect to see:

  • A change in the language used throughout Children’s Services
  • New practice tools
  • A change in the way we currently use our processes because we recognise that they do not always keep children safe
  • Children and families being asked for their solutions to their problems
  • A move away from service-led plans to family-led plans
  • When making a referral you may be asked more and different types of questions.

For further information about Signs of Safety visit