The United Kingdom’s Department for Education have published the final report of the external evaluation for first Signs of Safety English Innovations Project.
Authors Mary Baginsky et.al. recognised that Signs of Safety has become one of the most widely adopted research-based programmes aimed at improving practice in child protection services in England.
They report that social work managers and social workers in the 10 local authorities were overwhelmingly positive about the benefits of Signs of Safety in supporting children, providing fresh opportunities for social workers to involve families to a much greater extent than had been the case previously.
The researchers also concluded that “while Signs of Safety is not a ‘magic bullet’ for the challenges that face children’s social care, it has the potential to help improve services for children and young people”, and that “the Signs of Safety framework was workable where authorities made the necessary commitment of trust in their staff at all levels, backed up by resources and time.”
We agree that there are no magic bullets in the difficult and complex work of child protection and reforming services that have long held workers back from working effectively with families. This report adds to the growing evidence base for Signs of Safety and provides a current baseline, together with our own action research report, from which to further “demonstrate in a conclusive way how practice and organisational implementation works” in the second phase of the EIP.
King’s College London, who completed the report, have released a media statement and advise that the appendices for the report are accessible on their website and through links in the main report.