Signs of Safety

Signs of Safety is an innovative, strengths-based, safety organised approach, created in Western Australia.

The model was created by practitioners, based on what they know works with difficult cases, has attracted international attention and is being used in areas of North America, Europe and Australasia.

It is an assessment and planning framework supporting practitioners in determining:

  • Whether there is sufficient safety for the child to remain within the family and what support is needed for the family for that to happen;
  • Whether the situation is so dangerous that the child must be removed;
  • If the child is looked after, whether there is enough safety for the child to return home.

Signs of Safety was developed from a spirit of appreciative inquiry, and the heart of the process revolves around a risk assessment and case planning format that is meaningful for all the professionals, and the parents and children.

Signs of Safety Strategy

Signs of Safety is an innovative, solution focused and strengths based approach to working with children, young people and their families.

It provides a clear framework for building positive relationships with families in a way which will achieve better outcomes for children. The framework provides guidance for practitioners across partner agencies to best understand how to work in Partnership with children and families, listening to them, helping them to find solutions to the problems they experience, rather than doing to them.

What will the impact of Knowsley’s implementation be?

Our aim is to create a supportive working environment where staff are confident and committed to the professional judgements they make. The benefits of this are:

  • Increased confidence and capability of staff.
  • A supportive working environment for staff working through difficult and protracted cases.
  • Professional judgements based on a balance of information and evidence.
  • Improved engagement with families to meet the best needs, and outcomes, of the child. Using jargon free language.
  • Improved partnership working with partner agencies to meet the best needs, and outcomes, of the child.
  • Improved quality of assessment, analysis and intervention delivered to families.
  • Improved risk management of vulnerable children as a result of rigorous assessment and safety planning.

As Signs of Safety becomes embedded, you will find meetings, supervision, panels and assessments will be framed using this approach, and a routine use of the Signs of Safety communication tools for capturing children’s views.

If you have attended the 2 Day Introduction to Signs of Safety Training, don’t wait for the framework to be fully embedded consider how you can utilise the framework in your every day practice. If you wish to find out more about Signs of Safety there are briefing sessions available to book via the KSCP Booking Portal (click on the Multi Agency Training Link to access this)

A number of Newsletters have now been produced to keep you up to date with the progress of Implementation.

Signs of Safety Newsletter 1

Signs of Safety Newsletter 2

Signs Of Safety Newsletter 3

Signs of Safety Newsletter 4 April 19

Signs of Safety Newsletter 5 May 2019

Signs of Safety Newsletter June 2019

Signs of Safety Newsletter July 2019

Signs of Safety Newsletter October 2019

Signs of Safety Newsletter January 2020

Signs of Safety Newsletter February 2020

Signs of Safety Newsletter April 20

Signs of Safety Newsletter – January 2021

Signs of Safety Newsletter Feb 2021

Signs of Safety Newsletter March 2021

Signs of Safety Newsletter May 2021

Signs of Safety Newsletter June 2021

Signs of Safety Newsletter – Summer 2021


It is possible to book onto the 2 Day ‘Introduction to Signs of Safety’ courses and briefing sessions via the KSCP Booking Portal.

Knowsley has adopted Signs of Safety as its practice framework.  The framework is being used across the whole of Children’s Social Care and partner agencies.  The document below sets out the practice expectations across Children’s Social Care so that everyone is clear about what good Signs of Safety practice looks like in Knowsley and everyone knows what is expected of them.


Knowsley’s Signs of Safety Practice Guidance

Knowsley Group Supervision Guidance

Knowsley Group Supervision Template