Practitioner Observations

Once you understand the strategic response to peer-on-peer abuse it’s important to see what this looks like in practice. Observations of different meetings from strategic to operational can help you understand the site’s response and give you a feel for issues arising in the area. Observations are central to the audit and will help you think about some of the issues facing young people. The aims of the observations are to get an understanding of what the response to peer-on-peer abuse looks like in the area and the extent to which contextual factors are recognised and engaged with. 

In general you want to attend meetings from strategic to operational and across a variety of forms of abuse. The names will vary in different places but should include strategic, operational and case management meetings. Examples of meetings from previous MSU audits include:

  • Child sexual exploitation strategic group 
  • Child sexual exploitation operational group – referred to as a multi-agency sexual exploitation (MASE) group, or sexual exploitation risk assessment conference (SERAC) in addition to other names 
  • Multi-agency risk assessment conference for domestic abuse (MARAC) 
  • Violence against women and girls or domestic abuse strategic group 
  • Harmful sexual behaviour strategic and/or operational group 
  • Gangs panel, bronze group or gangs action group – operational 
  • Gangs and/or serious youth violence strategic group 
  • Fair access panel (regarding school exclusions and managed moves across schools) 
  • Youth crime disorder or anti-social behaviour panel 
  • Youth Justice risk and vulnerability panels 
  • Multi-agency planning meetings (MAP or strategy meetings) 

The aim of observations is to understand how multi-agency practitioners respond to peer-on-peer abuse, and the extent that contextual factors are recognised and engaged with during meetings and interventions. The resources here will help when carrying out observations during meetings, and include some tips of things to listen out for.

The following video gives overview of some of the things to think about and how you might want to note this down during observations. Once you have watched this, download the ‘things to think about’ document.

The following documents will help you with the observations:

Observation template - Strategic

This template will help you note down your observations for strategic meetings or when it is less likely that interventions will be discussed.

Observation Template Strategic


Observation template - operational

Practitioners can use this template to help you note down your observations as part of a Contextual Safeguarding audit. Practitioners should use the template to write down an overview of what is discussed.

Observation Template Operational


Observations - things to think about

This resource supports practitioners to carry out observations as part of a Contextual Safeguarding audit. The document outlines key considerations for practitioners.

Observations Things To Think About