Signs of Safety EIP Journal – January 2018

EIP Journal – January 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 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.

EIP2 – Full implementation of Signs of Safety – Three Key Deliverables

Safety planning and safety networks
Building safety networks drawing on extended family and social supports and the network owning and implementing the safety plan.

Case management process alignment
Aligning prescribed case management processes (reflected in forms and practice guidance as well as QA and IT) with the actual practice that occurs with families and children using the Signs of Safety.

Further developing and implementing the QA system
Aligning deeply rooted quality assurance systems with Signs of Safety practice and establishing effective learning cycles that improve practice and its organisational.

First Quarter Achievements and Challenges

Thinking about driving the full implementation of Signs of Safety, the three key deliverables for EIP:


Local Authorities

  • Advanced training for the leadership group and planning how we will drive implementation forward. Pride in Practice event.
  • Capacity is in place. Clarity on direction. Consensus on practice framework.
  • Embedded well in the family front door/ point of referral / contact.Moving forward with group supervision culture.
  • Positive engagement with SLs and CLA to restart their use of Signs of Safety.
  • Senior & middle management commitment to Signs of Safety practice – words & behaviours.

Local Authority Presentation – Bexley

A story of hope, passion, fear and implementation (in words and pictures)!

The DCS started trying to bring Signs of Safety to her local authority some 3 years ago. Everyone was very excited at the start. Everyone said that they believed in helping families to find solutions and for children to stay in naturally connected networks (when it was safe and in their best interests).
They loved the three columns and the three houses. The DCS was happy and thought a year would be what it took to get the practice and value base up and running.


Managing the Crisis of a Child Death

“Whatever the initiative, policy or programme, in the end you are only as good as how you deal with the next child death” Tony Morrisson

Thinking about the last serious incident that you were working with

Where did your gorilla (your authoritarian, directive, maybe even angry side) come out?

  • On the phone when someone gave me information that made me overturn my decision but it made a mockery of me
  • In email
  • When I have felt I haven’t been heard – frustration
  • A learning event when I saw photographic evidence – how did we miss this
  • SCR panel – reviewing what has happened and feeling angry about how could we have missed this

Local Authority Presentation – Leicestershire

Implementing Signs of Safety involves working across so many fronts, it seems like it is constant action everywhere.

And the reality is that you just have to jump into the practice, the doing, even before all the support systems are in place, before the alignments are complete. The work begins before the systems are right.


Trajectory Planning – Safety Planning and Safety Networks

What is the Practice? An English Learning Case

  • Danger statements and safety goals
  • Words and pictures version of the safety plan
  • Reflections – What do you see in the (full) safety plan that you would want to see consistently in your agency plans?
  • Trajectory Planning
  • Template for trajectory planning
  • Notes from the table discussions

EIP Implementation Dashboard

At the last leaders workshop it was agreed that the dashboard would be received from each local authority quarterly two weeks before the leaders workshop and that MTM would compile and distribute a composite report. Eight local authorities provided completed dashboards. MTM took feedback on the format and has simplified it separating monitoring activity and assessing progress. The revised dashboard that should be less than two pages was agreed at the December workshop and is below.


Activity for Next Workshop

The activity is in line with trajectory planning for safety planning and networks. Senior and project managers should ‘survey’ a selection of staff (formally or informally, through individual conversations or discussions at set meetings, anything that is deliberate and recorded!)

Thinking about what we need to do to achieve involving naturally connected networks in safety planning, what are the enablers and barriers they see and what it would take to cut through the barriers?

Finally – a Couple of Reminders and a Question

Use the quarterly consultations as a catalyst for driving the change you want to see – to do this you need to be organised for both the visits and the monthly calls in between, with the agendas focussed and the identified leadership groups engaged. (See the Guide document page 10, and the leadership trajectory document to use as your menu.)

Stay focussed on the three key deliverables (in the context of the full implementation of Signs of Safety, recognising the need to backfill in some areas). This is what you’ve signed up for.

When do we stop saying please (to practice the way the agency has decided)?


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 and think about and let us know what you think would be most helpful at the next workshop.