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Research that informs practice and policy

The Contextual Safeguarding team are part of Durham University's Sociology department. We do research with young people, families and practitioners to inform practice that makes a positive impact to children's lives. We have a number of different research projects. See below for more information about our past and current projects. 

Current projects

Completed projects

The Next Chapter

The Next Chapter (TNC) grapples with key questions that emerged from the three year testing of Contextual Safeguarding during the Scale-Up project and is made up of four workstreams to explore

The Innovate Project ESRC

The Innovate Project is a collaborative examination of how, why and where innovations happens in social care to safeguard adolescents experiencing complex risks.

Contextual Safeguarding Across Borders (CSAB)

Contextual Safeguarding Across Borders is a two-year project (2021-2023) exploring the application of Contextual Safeguarding in international contexts, specifically in situations of structural, historical, and contemporary racial inequalities


The Scale-Up project worked with nine test sites in England and Wales to create Contextual Safeguarding systems in practice across Children’s Social Care and with multi-agency partners.

Beyond Referrals

The Beyond Referrals projects worked with schools and VCS organisations to respond to harmful sexual behaviour and extra-familial harm

Securing Safety

A research project into the rate, cost and experience of the relocation of adolescents exposed to or at risk of extra familial harm.

Contextual Safeguarding: Measuring Reach & Impact

In 2017, the Contextual Safeguarding programme (CSP) began partnering with local authorities to begin testing the framework in practice. The Reach and Impact (R&I) workstream is the first systematic attempt at evaluating the extent of the programme’s reach and impact.

The Peace Project

The PEACE project in the London Borough of Hounslow’s Youth Offending Services is using Contextual Safeguarding to develop interventions in response to exploitation.

The Oldham Youth Project

Pilot Project led by a voluntary sector organisation using the principles of contextual safeguarding to better respond to increasing levels of youth violence in the Oldham

Safer London Peers Project

A project with Safer London to explore opportunities for safeguarding interventions with young people’s peer networks.