Family safeguarding model

Two children smiling at each other.

Our new ways of working

Following a grant from the Department for Education's Innovation Programme we have redesigned services for children in need and children in need of protection. We have done this by bringing together children’s social workers with specialists in adult mental health, domestic abuse and substance misuse. Our integrated support has helped to reduce the numbers of children coming into care and costs across public services.

Our vision

The family safeguarding model is a way of keeping families together where it is safe to do so. This is achieved through a more collaborative way of working where parents are motivated to identify the changes needed within their own families. This helps achieve better outcomes for children.

Family safeguarding logo.

Our approach

We support families using a technique called Motivational Interviewing. This is designed to empower and engage parents to make the positive changes needed to achieve improved outcomes for their children and their own wellbeing.

Our teams

Family Safeguarding Teams are made up of:

  • social workers, family workers and parenting assessors - working directly with parents and children
  • domestic abuse victim practitioners - working with victims of domestic abuse, we help them to recognise abuse and support them to make changes to protect their children and themselves
  • domestic abuse perpetrator practitioners - working with perpetrators of domestic abuse, we help them to recognise the impact of their actions and find ways to stabilise their relationships and keep their children safe
  • recovery workers - working with adults who are experiencing difficulties with drugs or alcohol, we support them to make positive lifestyle changes and help them to care for their children
  • mental health practitioners - working with parents who are experiencing mental health difficulties
  • clinical psychologists - working with parents using cognitive behavioural techniques (CBT) and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), as well as looking at different aspects of parenting

Our partner agencies

This model is supported by strong partnerships between the Police, Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), substance misuse and mental health services.

What our teams do differently

Our teams are:

  • delivering a whole family focus by spending more time with children and families
  • achieving change through the skilled use of motivational interviewing techniques
  • using high quality reflective supervision, within a multi disciplinary forum, to support information sharing and strengthen decision making
  • using a range of tools to develop an in depth understanding of family functioning
  • using a workbook to aid streamlined recording and ‘real time’ assessment

Family safeguarding and mental health services for families

We are working with health colleagues to support parents, and adults in parenting roles, when they are struggling with their mental health.

Find out about our mental health services for families