Developing contextual responses to the abuse and exploitation of young people



Last updated: 24 Mar 2019

Contextual safeguarding in practice: Hackney

Over the past two years the Contextual Safeguarding team at the International Centre (IC) have been working with colleagues from the London Borough of Hackney to implement contextual safeguarding, using the IC model of contextual safeguarding. This project is funded by the Department for Education Innovation Fund.

The Contextual Safeguarding Implementation Toolkit documents the process of creating a Contextual Safeguarding approach in Hackney to date. It provides the tools and guidance to support other areas in implementing a Contextual Safeguarding approach and the key steps and principles this involves. Only some of the tools developed in Hackney are listed below - the full tool library can be found in the toolkit.

Working with the network

We have worked closely with the contextual safeguarding network throughout the project to share learning with network members. For members of the Contextual Safeguarding network, the project will provide excellent learning and insight into contextual safeguarding in practice for practitioners and local authorities across the country.

Hackney is also building on the wealth of knowledge and expertise across the membership. We are therefore gathering examples of great practice and key insights contextual practice being carried out. This is an excellent opportunity to share good practice that will be fed into work in Hackney. If you have an example or contextual approach you would like to share please get in touch (e:

Shared learning and updates from Hackney


Hackney's Extra-Familial Risk Panel

In this podcast Cathal Ryan, Service Manager in Hackney, explains what the Extra-Familial Risk Panel (EFRP) is, why it was developed and how is has been used in Hackney.


Recording Contextual Safeguarding on a case management system

Ross Tuckley, Business Development and Support Manager in Hackney, explains the work conducted to enable the recording of peer groups and locations in Hackney's case management system.

In December 2018 the Contextual Safeguarding team in Hackney held a national learning event to share learning from the benefits of a Contextual Safeguarding System and how this can be effectively implemented in practice.

Posted: 16 Jan 2019

Hackney has created an Extra-Familial Risk Panel (EFRP) to review cases of young people (as individuals or in groups) at risk of causing or experiencing harm outside the home and take action to address the risk.

Posted: 06 Dec 2018

A Context Safeguarding Conference is a meeting akin to a Child Protection Conference but, instead of focusing on an individual child, it focuses on a particular location (such as a school, peer groups or a neighbourdhood). Our Context Safeguarding Conference was held to review the neighbourhood assessment we conducted in Hackney and implement a targeted partnership response to reducing identified risks of harm in the neighbourhood.

Posted: 07 Nov 2018

James Sykes, Safeguarding in Education Consultant for Hackney Learning Trust and chair of the Schools workstream for the Contextual Safeguarding Project in Hackney, reflects on how contextual approaches have helped him to engage and support schools as key safeguarding partners.

Posted: 24 Oct 2018

Graham Goulden (Cultivating Minds UK) explains how a Mentors in Violence Prevention Programme (MVP), developed in the USA to tackle sexual violence on university campuses and replicated in the Scottish high school setting, uses creative bystander approaches to preventing violence.

Posted: 22 Aug 2018


Contextualising case management systems

Ross Tuckley is part of a working group in Hackney's Children and Families Services which is looking at developing Mosaic (the social work case management system) to record peer group and location referrals. In this podcast, Ross tells us about the work he has been leading on Mosaic in Hackney.

The contextual safeguarding project in Hackney is already one year into its delivery. This brief update highlights key pieces of work developed so far and priorities for the project moving forward.

Posted: 06 Jun 2018

This week we feature a guest blog from Soulmaz Bashirinia. Soulmaz is a Service Manager in Hackney Children and Families Services who are working in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire to implement a contextual safeguarding framework to work with vulnerable adolescents. In this article she  gives an overview of the project and shares initial learning.

Posted: 09 Aug 2017

In this latest blog, Rachael Owens from the Contextual Safeguarding Team in Hackney reflects on a recent Hackney Children and Families Services initiative designed to safeguard a peer group of young women through group work. Rachael shares a conversation held with one member of the parents and carers group, capturing the impact of this approach and presenting key learning for practice and for the Contextual Safeguarding team to consider going forwards. 

Posted: 25 Oct 2017

In this latest blog, Simone Nyarko (Consultant Social Worker) provides a brief update on the progress made in the Contextual Safeguarding work and developments in Hackney.

Posted: 07 Feb 2018

We welcome Delphine Girma who is replacing Ruth Atkinson as Research Assistant on the Hackney project. Delphine joined the International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking in July 2017 and previously worked in the voluntary sector.

Posted: 07 Mar 2018

New guidance on peer group assessments and peer group mapping including a peer assessment framework, activities for using with young people and peer mapping tools.

For any further questions about the project please email

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