EIP Journal – December 2018

Munro, Turnell and Murphy (MTM) publish the Signs of Safety English Innovations Project (EIP) newsletter each quarter after the EIP leaders’ workshop. It reflects the content of each workshop as introduced by both MTM and the local authorities, and exercises and questions that readers can do for themselves.

MTM hopes that the EIP journal will be a valuable learning resource for all the staff of the local authorities as well as their partners and stakeholders, and more broadly in England.

3 Key Deliverables image

Fourth Quarter Achievements & Challenges


  • Alignment with Learning & development to embed Signs of Safety across all training
  • Improved training by bringing in practitioners to share good practice
  • C&F assessment getting going
  • Increase in Signs of Safety champions/practice leads
  • 2-day training run in-house every month. 4 x 1-day courses introduced: Direct Work Tools; Safety Networks; Safety Planning; Words & Pictures
  • Roll-out of visual guides and development of other resources


What Do I Need to Give Up for Signs of Safety?

Implementing Signs of Safety requires many practical changes but what cultural changes and beliefs also show up as needing to change?

Presentation by Cormac Quinlan and Sue Kane, Tusla Child and Family Agency, Republic of Ireland

Tusla – who are we?


Learning From Practice

Changing the story after 22 years: from seeing a problem family to finding their solutions with them.

If you have a subscription to the Signs of Safety Knowledge Bank you can view the presentation from Dorothy Soye at the 2018 International Signs of Safety Gathering after logging in to your account.

Dorothy presents about her work with a family who had been open to Tusla for 22 years because of the impact of adult drinking on the children. Dorothy describes taking a chance and introducing Signs of Safety to a completely divided family while Tusla was in the middle of court proceedings applying for a full care order over 11-year-old Brandon.

Dorothy reflects on her biases, assumptions, frustrations and judgments she had about this family, given the past history. Dorothy describes how she used questioning, listening and reflecting to heal the divisions in the extended family and bring everyone together to build safety around on Brandon and get him back living with them. Ultimately Dorothy describes changing her story about this family and this enabling the family to change the stories they had about themselves.


Specifying What We Want to Achieve by the End of EIP2

Implications for what it takes to evaluate Signs of Safety

Reflections on the What Works Centre Review – Eileen Munro

  • Various tweets were misleading!
  • There are two different views about how you can research when evaluating a whole system, complex, intervention such as Signs of Safety, one is the classic, positivist RCT (randomised controlled trials) approach and the other is the realist evaluation now being developed and used in medicine and international development. 
  • WWC used a 2012 report on the Theory of Change from Australia to define Signs of Safety and didn’t ask us about the current theory of change.
  • Aim is not to stop taking children into care, it’s about taking only those for whom we cannot create sufficient safety outside of care. 


Activity for next workshop

Consider the opportunity for participating in the new strategy of whole system learning cases — your consultant will follow up.

Please Give Us Your Feedback

About anything and everything to make MTM’s work be the best it can be for you.

Most importantly, please have a look at the Guide document for the leaders’ workshop plan. Think about it and let us know what you think would be most helpful at the next workshop.