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Quality Assurance and Review Service

Contextual Safeguarding and Exploitation Conference Pilot

We are pleased to share a pilot that we have introduced across Kingston and Richmond for six months, from 9 November 2020 to 9 May 2021.

Contextual Safeguarding and Exploitation means harm to a child which occurs outside of the family. It takes place in spaces often within the community and typically from someone who is not a family member. 

These worries would usually lead to a child protection plan. We have developed a framework to respond to this extra-familial harm better suited to addressing the risk.

We use language that reflects the lack of control children have in abusive situations and the impact on them. Achieving for Children have developed this helpful tool to help people use language that promotes the value of the child (pdf)

 

Contextual Safeguarding and Exploitation Reviews 

A contextual safeguarding and exploitation review is a meeting when there is a concern about the safety of the young person in a place or their exploitation outside of the family. The meeting is between a child, parents, their family, their family friends and professionals.

The focus of the meeting is the support around a young person using a process which is more focused on teenagers and spaces risks.

The meeting is chaired by a lead child protection conference chair who has developed expertise in contextual safeguarding and exploitation. Despite these meetings not involving child protection planning, they are focused on safeguarding the welfare of a child and the use of a child protection conference chair strengthens this safeguarding ethos and independent oversight.

The meeting has a clear agenda.

Context Safeguarding and Exploitation Review Agenda (pdf)

We have created a leaflet to help explain what a contextual safeguarding and exploitation review is (pdf)

The written summary and plan will be sent to you within two working days of the meeting.

The social worker will visit your child at least every 10 working days, usually at home and the key group of people should come together regularly to see how everything is working.

Another contextual safeguarding and exploitation review may be held in three months, but the Chair will think with you about whether it’s needed anymore.

We encourage everyone who has attended a contextual safeguarding and exploitation review to provide feedback (opens a new window)

You can also open the survey using the camera on your phone to capture this QR code.

Family and Community Networks

Every child supported through a Contextual Safeguarding and Exploitation Review also has Family and Community Network meetings running alongside.

Achieving for Children believes that the most important way to support children and young people is for them to have meaningful connections with members of their family and community. We use Family and Community Network meetings to work alongside families to make a positive difference to the child’s everyday life by agreeing what needs to happen and how support is going to be provided. We look at what parents may need to support relationships with the child and what the child needs for the long term. This way of working supports parents, families and their friends to take more ownership of the concerns and worries, and be part of putting a plan together with professionals to keep children and young people safer.

We believe that every child, young person and parent has a network who can be found if we try.

We have created a leaflet to help explain family and community networks (pdf)

 
Context Conferences

Context Conferences are a method to work with community members, businesses and safeguarding professionals to focus on contextual safeguarding and the exploitation of children (the harm which occurs outside of the family context in spaces and places often identified within community settings and from someone typically who is not a family member). The aim of this conference is to pull together a safety plan for the location.

A context conference is held when the Multi Agency Risk and Vulnerability Exploitation (MARVE) Panel identifies a space or place as a risk for a group of children and a contextual safeguarding complex strategy meeting decides that the context threshold is met. An action plan is developed to increase safety in the space or place and this is attached to any relevant child’s social care record. 

It is essential that individual children and families are not discussed in this meeting.

Here are some documents that will be helpful to those attending context conferences: 

We encourage everyone who has attended a context conference to provide feedback (opens a new window)

You can also open the survey using the camera on your phone to capture this QR code.

General information about this pilot is below:

Letter of intention (pdf)

Contextual safeguarding and exploitation conference process (pdf)