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This resource is from the Scale-Up toolkit and should be used in conjunction with the other resources. You can access the Scale-Up toolkit here.

Watching Over Working With

This section of the Toolkit has been put together to help us think about the types of relationships we form with young people, their parents/carers, and communities when we do Contextual Safeguarding. It is based on a short study called ‘Watching Over Working With’ carried out by the Contextual Safeguarding team in 2021-2022.

This study explored the extent to which innovations in response to ‘extra-familial’ risk were grounded in relationships based on trust and/or surveillance and monitoring.

Contextual Safeguarding is underpinned by 5 ethical principles: it is collaborative, rights-based, ecological, strengths-based, and evidence-based. As such, we seek to form partnerships with professionals, but also with young people, parents, and community members to ensure that attempts to create safety in young people’s peer groups, schools and neighbourhoods are grounded in the lived reality of how harm happens, tackle environmental drivers of harm, build on the strengths of those impacted and uphold rights to protection as well as rights to participation and privacy.

The guidance documents on this page should help you think about the types of relationships that are featured in your work with young people, and the possible implications of this for adopting an ethical approach to Contextual Safeguarding.

Please start with the Framework and case study exercise, before moving on to our findings from applying the framework to Contextual Safeguarding test sites, which includes some reflective questions for the reader. There is also an 18-minute presentation that tells you more about the research behind this work.