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The Scale-Up project is applying the resources and learning developed from the Department of Education funded Hackney Contextual Safeguarding project into nine new test sites – Bristol, Kent, Knowsley, Swansea, Wiltshire (National Scale Up) and Barking and Dagenham, Ealing, Sutton and Merton (London Scale Up). During this three year project two research teams will work with these nine sites to develop Contextual Safeguarding systems across children’s social care and create their own toolkits for change for other areas.

The research teams are:

National Scale-Up is formed of Dr Carlene Firmin (Principle Investigator), Dr Jenny Lloyd (Project manager), Joanne Walker (Participatory lead), Dr Rachael Owens (Social Work Practice Advisor), Vanessa Bradbury (Research Assistant), Dr Lisa Bostock (Senior Researcher) and Dr Lisa Thornhill (Embedded Researcher). For the duration of the project the research team are located across the five sites to understand and document their progress.

London Scale-Up is formed of Dr Carlene Firmin (Principle Investigator), Dr Rachael Owens (Project manager), Carly Adams Elias (Youth Work Advisor) and Lisa Thornhill (Embedded Researchers), and Hannah Millar (Research Assistant). For the duration of the project the research team is located across the sites to understand and document their progress.

The research will take place across three years:

  • Create (May 2019-May 2020): the team works with each site to document understand how each site currently responds to extra-familial harm
  • Test (May 2020-2021): each site, supported by UoB will start to test their on-paper Contextual safeguarding system
  • Embed (May 2021-2022) work towards system as usual operating, finishing with a Contextual safeguarding Implementation Toolkit for each site

To support this understanding the research team uses the following research methods:

  • Observation of multi-agency meetings and shadowing of practitioners and services across the five sites
  • Training and development of Contextual Safeguarding Champions to extend learning and develop practice
  • Review of policies, procedures and assessments associated to adolescent safeguarding
  • Case review of cases of extra-familial harm to identify threshold decisions
  • Collaboration in each site to develop plans, practice and system changes
  • Reflective meetings, interviews and system review to reflect and develop progress

    Principal investigator: Carlene Firmin:

    Funder: The National Lottery Community Fund (National) London Violence Reduction Unit, Mayor’s Office of Policing and Crime (London)

    National Contact: Jennifer Lloyd:

    London Contact: Rachael Owens: