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In 2019, Katie Latimer, Research Fellow in the Contextual Safeguarding Project team, worked alongside practitioners at Safer London to explore opportunities for safeguarding interventions with young people’s peer networks.

Within this, we were particularly interested in exploring peer support as protective, and a basis for positive intervention. Dr Isabelle Brodie (Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire) reviewed academic literature relating to peer support interventions to guide the data collection with Safer London.

The research asked:

  • Does Safer London currently consider and/or work with peer relationships to safeguard young people experiencing violence and exploitation?
  • Does / could Safer London build consideration of peer relationships into their referral, assessment and outcomes measurement frameworks?
  • Could Safer London further develop interventions with peer groups, or that work with peer relationships, as part of their work to safeguard young people?

To answer these questions, the following methods were used

  • A scoping review of the academic literature relating to peer support interventions.
  • Review and coding of policy and practice documents from across Safer London
  • Observations of practice, including a reflective case review session and school workshops delivered by Safer London practitioners
  • Embedded research to allow for informal conversations with staff and mapping of Safer London’s work with peers across the organisation.
  • Focus groups and workshops with practitioners
  • Interviews with practitioners

Principal investigator: Dr Carlene Firmin

Funder: Safer London


Related Publications:

Opportunities for peer safeguarding intervention

Peer support interventions for safeguarding