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.

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





The Signs of Safety Practice sessions are currently available for Children’s Social Care and Family First staff only, those that have already attended the 2 day Intro to Signs of Safety training, no booking is required. All sessions are taking place in Nutgrove Villa; 2nd floor; Small Conf Room. The workshops are available to practitioners from all key agencies and will give an overview and provide updates regarding Signs of Safety implementation in Knowsley. These is no need to book on, just turn up on the day. All workshops are taking place in Knowsley Council Municipal Building; Public Meeting Room 2 (see Newsletter 3 for more information).


All 2 Day ‘Introduction to Signs of Safety’ courses are currently full. More dates will be advertised when they are confirmed.

Briefing Paper

Please read the following briefing paper which will provide more detail regarding what signs of safety is, what we want to achieve and what evidence base there is:

Signs of Safety Briefing Paper

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