Social Care and family

Safeguarding children and young people in Northumberland

A new practice approach to working with children, young people and their families in Northumberland is to be further embedded and formally adopted by Northumberland Children’s Social Care next month as we strive to continuously improve the service for families and professionals.  
Following a Good Ofsted report in 2020 the council is committed to ensuring all Northumberland children and families receive the best support and have further embraced a practice model called Signs of Safety which focuses on collaboration with families and professionals for the best outcomes of the child or young person.  
Cath McEvoy-Carr, Executive Director for Adult and Children’s Services, said: “It is vital that our families feel supported, but also feel they are able to be involved in the work and decisions being made for them and their children.  
“Sometimes families need additional support from professionals to meet the needs of their children, children who might be at risk of harm and may need support to keep them safe.  
The Signs of Safety approach means those professionals are able to be open and honest and build a relationship with those they are working with for the best outcomes.” 
Some parents and carers might be struggling to cope with their child’s challenging behaviour, or they might have difficulties of their own which are making it hard for them to meet their children’s needs. Signs of Safety provides an inclusive process to ensure all are supported. 
In Northumberland the aim is that children and young people should remain with their families whenever it is safe and in their best interest and where it’s not, timely action is taken to identify safe arrangements.  For this reason, in Northumberland, Signs of Safety is the chosen practice model to the work with children, young people and families.
Signs of Safety is about families, their networks and professionals all working together to meet children and young people’s needs in the best way possible.  
“We want to embed a common framework to support meaningful and collaborative practice with our families and partner agencies.” continued Cath.  
Professionals can use our new multi-agency referral form (MARF) at  
Alternatively, anyone who has a worry or a concern about a child or young person can contact:
Telephone: 01670 536 400 
Text phone: 01670 536 844 
Paula Mead, Independent Safeguarding Scrutiny and Assurance Chair, said: “Signs of Safety allows all professionals working with children and young people, and their families to address needs and find the right support. It allows everyone to work together, putting children, young people and their parents or carers at the heart of the work.” 
Should you have an immediate concern for the safety of a child or young person should contact 999.  
View all news