This Neighbourhood Assessment toolkit has been developed by The University of Bedfordshire with Hackney Children and Families Services to support practitioners to consider how to assess and develop responses to risk in neighbourhoods. The toolkit is designed to support practitioners to carry out a contextual assessment within a neighbourhood context. The toolkit includes a suite of different assessment methods.
Neighbourhoods have been identified as sites in which young people can experience and/or be safeguarded from abuse and violence. From experiences of child sexual exploitation in fast food restaurants, criminal exploitation in parks, serious youth violence on transport routes to exposure to drug use and dealing in vulnerable adult’s homes. While agencies already work to keep young people safe outside of the home, such as neighbourhood safety and the police, the primary focus of this work is crime prevention as opposed to child welfare. Research suggests that there are a number of ways that young people can be safeguarded from harm in neighbourhood spaces – from ‘designing-out’ opportunities for abuse to occur and creating opportunities for community guardians.
As such it is critical that when young people experience abuse and violence and this is in some way associated to locations outside the home, such as a park, street, stairwell, business – that the neighbourhood itself features within the process of assessment and intervention. If we want to address the factors that cause abuse, or provide an opportunity for abuse to occur, then these factors needs to be identified explored and addressed – neighbourhood assessments is one way to achieve this.
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Neighbourhood Assessment Framework
Start by reading this neighbourhood assessment guidance. This includes the background to carrying out a neighbourhood assessment and the assessment framework.
Neighbourhood Assessment Template
This table can be used as a template when completing a neighbourhood assessment.
This business survey can be used by with local businesses in the area to help understand their experiences and concerns. The guidance includes a survey template that can be adapted and example survey findings.
Neighbourhood observations can highlight evidence of harm and protective factors such as community guardians. This guidance provides tools for carrying out observations and is supported by a video.
It's important to bring the views of young people and the community into assessments. This guidance outlines a number of examples.
This survey can be used to gain the views of residents and community members on safeguarding issues affecting young people in the area. This document includes guidance and a survey that can be adapted for different groups.
Safety Mapping Exercise
This document contains guidance, exercises and a safety planning sheet to help you carry out safety mapping.