The partners that are drawn upon will depend on the harm and context identified. When young people experience harm that is considered to be ‘in need’ or at risk of ‘significant harm’, it is essential that the work is co-ordinated and led by safeguarding professionals. But, it is unlikely that one partner can do all the work on their own. The strongest Contextual Safeguarding work draws upon a range of partners. What we found was that it’s not enough to work in partnership alone but for practitioners to co-work cases.
Being able to draw upon a range of relationships to work flexibly is important. These relationships should be built on trust and have a shared ambition to protect the welfare of children. For that reason, the strongest partnerships involve youth workers and organisations who work with young people (such as local Voluntary Community Sector organisations). Youth workers are particularly important because of the time and focus within their role on building trusting relationships with young people.
In Scale-Up we have seen Contextual Safeguarding integrated into the work of Early Help, Child in Need and Child Protection teams. There has been though, a striking absence of involvement with Leaving Care and Looked After Children's teams, meaning that there is a significant potential for developing work in this area.