Family Safeguarding FAQs

Common queries about the new Family Safeguarding approach.

What is Family Safeguarding (FS)?

Family Safeguarding is a strengths-based approach that was developed in Hertfordshire in 2015. This new way of working that focuses on supporting parents and carers with the aim of keeping children safely within their families.

This is achieved through a more collaborative way of working that encourages parents and carers to identify the changes needed within their own families. This approach will help us achieve better outcomes for children in Wandsworth by reducing the need for children to come into care

Why did Hertfordshire bring it in?

Having noted an increase in children on Child Protection plans, Children becoming Looked After, and an increase in Domestic Abuse call outs they wanted to reduce these. Hertfordshire recognised the need to change the way child protection services were provided and the way families were worked with.

What other Local Authorities have implemented Family Safeguarding?

There are 16 authorities nationally who will have implemented Family Safeguarding by early 2022. Some authorities are self-funding, and some are funded by the DfE. Wandsworth is the first London authority to implement Family Safeguarding.

What are the key features of Family Safeguarding?

  • Specialist workers in domestic abuse, mental health and substance misuse co-located in social work teams
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Family Safeguarding case supervision
  • Electronic workbook
  • Eight Module Family Programme

What is Motivational Interviewing (M.I.)?

A unified method of practice for all staff. A collaborative conversation style and counselling model that creates confidence in parents to enhance readiness for change and elicit change in behaviour.

What is Family Safeguarding case supervision?

Devised to enable discussion with all involved Family Safeguarding professionals. This supports reflective practice, collaborative and confident decision making and shared ownership of outcomes.

What is the Family Safeguarding electronic workbook?

A purposeful recording system. A new method of recording that aims to improve information sharing and reduce the amount of time practitioners spend on recording.

What is the eight module Family Programme?

Sits in the electronic workbook and is a framework for direct work with children and families giving a structure to the work. The family programme is ongoing, it draws information together, provides an overview and can be pulled into a report.

Who is in a Family Safeguarding team?

1 team manager, 5 social workers and multi-agency practitioners for substance misuse, mental health and domestic abuse (for survivors and for perpetrators) sitting across family safeguarding teams.

How many teams will there be in Wandsworth?

Our current CIN social work teams will become Family Safeguarding teams, with 16 multi agency practitioners between them plus 8 Children’s Practitioners.

When is it coming to Wandsworth?

Family safeguarding launched in Wandsworth in January 2022

Will Wandsworth be evaluated?

Yes, by the What Works Centre, funded by the DfE along with the other authorities implementing in 2020/2021

Has Family Safeguarding been evaluated?

Yes, there have been 2 evaluations funded by the DfE in 2017 and 2020. Evidence shows that the approach is ‘effective and replicable’.