Developing contextual responses to the abuse and exploitation of young people

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Last updated: 30 Sep 2019

Head of Operations and Development: Contextual Safeguarding Programme

Application closing date: 20/10/2019

Full Time: 12 months fixed term until 31/10/2020 (secondments welcome).

We are seeking a strategic and innovative individual, with experience of management to head up the operations and development team in the Contextual Safeguarding programme.

UK-Wide interest in Contextual Safeguarding has led to substantial growth in the size of the research team at the University of Bedfordshire. Working largely remotely, the team's work has significant reach and impact - with Contextual Safeguarding approaches being tested in over 20 local authorities, national charities and implemented into statutory child protection guidance. The programme currently includes twelve research projects overseen by the Head of the Contextual Safeguarding programme.This post holder will work alongside her to develop funding proposals that resource the research team beyond 2022 in addition to taking operational oversight of project delivery.

The Contextual Safeguarding (CS)programme works with a UK network of 5,000 practitioners in addition to providing in-depth support to local authority sites, schools and organisations whoare testing a CS approach. Through this work they are building an evidence base about the harm experienced by young people beyond the family home as well as the interventions required to keep them safe.

The post holder will hold managerial responsibility for operational staff within the Contextual Safeguarding team. Operational staff currently oversee events, training, network development, finance and communications. They will work with pro-bono support partners to oversee both the programme budget and contracts with funders. With the head of the programme they will develop operational structures and products to support the team as it grows.

This is a perfect secondment opportunity for someone wanting to apply their operational and managerial skills to a project that is making a significant impact on safeguarding the welfare of young people - it is also available as a 12 month fixed term contract. We are seeking to appoint an individual who is highly organised and self-motivated, and welcome applicants with a range of experiences that have equipped them to fulfil the requirements of this role.

Location: National Role: Desks in London and Luton.

Please note that these posts are subject to an enhanced DBS check.

For full job descriptions and person specifications please click here.

Interviews will be held on 5th November with a start date for the post 2nd December or as close to this date as notice periods permit.

Due to the Home Office and UK Visas & Immigration requirements on immigration and Right to Work in the UK, the University of Bedfordshire can only accept job applications from Non EEA applicants who hold a current Tier 1 or Tier 2 (in country) visa and their status allows them to work and reside in the UK with no restrictions.

The University is committed to equality of opportunity and values the diversity of all its workforce and student population.

Research Fellow (0.5FTE): Contextual Safeguarding Wiltshire, Bristol and London.

Application closing date: 20/10/2019

Research Fellow : Contextual Safeguarding

The International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Trafficking and Violence (IC), at the University of Bedfordshire is at the forefront of developing holistic responses to young people's experiences of abuse, and works in partnership with practitioners, young people and policymakers to achieve its goals. The Contextual Safeguarding programme is one of IC's leading initiatives, creating practices, systems and partnerships that that better address harm young people experience in in peer group, school and neighbourhood contexts. Under the leadership of the founder of Contextual Safeguarding theory, Dr Carlene Firmin, the team works with a virtual network of practitioners and in-person partnerships with test sites to evidence the harm experienced by young people beyond the family home and the interventions required to keep them safe.

We are seeking a Research Fellow to increase our team's capacity in Wiltshire, Bristol and London. The Research Fellow will work alongside practitioners in these sites, capturing evidence as they create and test Contextual Safeguarding systems. Using practice observation, narrative reviews of policies and case files, embedded methods and co-creation with practitioners, in reflective workshops and interviews, to evidence the nature of Contextual Safeguarding in practice. The post holder will also ensure that research messages are distilled into accessible formats for our practitioners' network and policymakers, and work with the team to further develop training resources for professionals.

The successful applicant will join a growing team who are work directly with professionals across England and Wales. We spend much time in practice sites, and this post holder will do so 1-2 days per week in Bristol and Wiltshire, on average as well as visiting Luton for team meetings, student supervision and guest lectures. This is a dynamic, enjoyable and highly motivated team, and this post provides an excellent opportunity for those wanting to have an impact on the development of policy, practice and public debate.

We are seeking to appoint an individual who is highly organised and self-motivated, and welcome applicants with a range of experiences that have equipped them to fulfil the requirements of this role.
Please note that these posts are subject to an enhanced DBS check. For full job descriptions and person specifications please click here.

Interviews will be held on 4th November 2019.


Due to the Home Office and UK Visas & Immigration requirements on immigration and Right to Work in the UK, the University of Bedfordshire can only accept job applications from Non EEA applicants who hold a current Tier 1 or Tier 2 (in country) visa and their status allows them to work and reside in the UK with no restrictions.


The University is committed to equality of opportunity and values the diversity of all its workforce and student population.

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