This blog is written by Carlene Firmin, Head of the Contextual Safeguarding Programme.
When the Contextual Safeguarding programme first launched we were a team of three. Taking the three years of learning generated through the MsUnderstood partnership Danielle Fritz worked with me to launch this practitioners’ network, and Jenny Lloyd joined us part time to develop our Contextual Safeguarding audit method and toolkit. That was in 2016.
Three years on we have welcomed a total of seven new members of staff to our team. Five of them have joined us this year so we thought we’d take some time to introduce them to our ever-growing network of practitioners.
Destiny Dejean has joined the team as our new research assistant – and will be working alongside Lauren Wroe who runs our evaluation of the Rescue and Response project and our study into the rate, cost and experience of relocation – Securing Safety.
Katie Latimer has joined us an embedded researcher – supporting the development of Contextual Safeguarding systems in Hackney and Hounslow. Katie is also working with me to generate new evidence on peer intervention and support in response to extra-familial abuse, and commencing support to our London test sites – Ealing, Barking and Dagenham, Sutton and Merton.
Joanne Walker and Rachael Owens have joined the Contextual Safeguarding Scale-Up team – which is being led by Jenny. The Scale-Up team are running the testing of Contextual Safeguarding in Bristol, Swansea, Wiltshire, Kent and Knowsley. Joanne is our new embedded researcher on this project, spending time in our new test sites to support and document their approaches to creating Contextual Safeguarding systems. Jo has worked with us for some time on our schools project, Beyond Referrals, and will continue to do this while also supporting the Scale-Up project.
Rachael Owens has been seconded to us as the Social Work Practice Advisor on the Scale-Up project. Rachael previously worked alongside Jenny and I, when creating our first Contextual Safeguarding system in Hackney. She will now be advising practitioners as they co-create their own approaches to contextual referral, assessment and intervention in our new test sites.
And finally Angela Rogers has joined the team as our Network and Training Development Manager. Angela will be in touch with many of our network members of the coming three years, as we create: a programme website that runs alongside our network; and accredited five-day short course of Contextual Safeguarding; a cohort of validated CS trainers, and; a network of CS champions from across a range of sectors. When we first set up the CS Practitioners’ Network we were aiming for 100 members. Membership has now exceeded 4,000 and Angela’s role is integral to ensuring that this online platform develops with you all and continues to act as a hub for peer-learning on this Contextual Safeguarding journey.
I am so thrilled to welcome them all and feel so fortunate to be working alongside such a skilled team as we deliver our Contextual Safeguarding programme over the coming three years.