Developing contextual responses to the abuse and exploitation of young people


Resources for VCS organisations

Last updated: 14 Apr 2022

This sections shares examples and resources about how different VCS organisations are embedding Contextual Safeguarding and developing contextual interventions.

Overtime, this initial set of resources will be expanded as contextual approaches continue to be adopted by a range of VCS organisations across the UK. If you would like to share examples of using Contextual Safeguarding in VCS settings, please get in touch with

Examples of how VCS organisations are embedding contextual approaches

This section shares case studies and resources illustrating how VCS organisations are embedding Contextual Safeguarding.

Improving responses to serious youth violence: The Oldham Youth Now project

Resources from the Youth Now project, a pilot project using the principles of Contextual Safeguarding to improve responses to increasing levels of youth violence in the Oldham area of Greater Manchester. The project was based within the Youth Justice team of the voluntary sector organisation ‘Positive Steps’ in partnership with Greater Manchester Police and Oldham Council.

Sports Cages: Places of safety, places of harm, places of potential

Our first Spotlight Feature shares the work of Luke Billingham, a youth and community worker at Hackney Quest. Luke tells us why sports recreational cages are important places for young people and communities, why they are too often overlooked, and why and how we should consider them as part of Contextual Safeguarding. A podcast, report and brand new resource included!

Blogs from VCS organisations

More Ball Games Please


Cate Meredith is Senior Consultant for the NSPCC Strategy and Knowledge team and Denise Richards is Training and Development Consultant for the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit. For this blog post, Cate and Denise write about the benefits of 'drop-in' approaches for engaging young people in sport and physical activity and offer their reflections on how to create safe 'drop-in' spaces.

Disrupting Exploitation through Systems Change


Nicola Webster is a Disrupting Exploitation Project Worker from The Children’s Society. Through a real life example she shows how a systems change approach, underpinned by Contextual Safeguarding, can reform a local meeting structure to adopt a strengths-based and collaborative approach to supporting young people who are vulnerable to exploitation.

Photo by Philip Chow on Unsplash

The power of peer relationships in safeguarding: supporting young people to be each other’s greatest cheerleaders


Carly Adams Elias is an Organisational Lead for Exploitation at Safer London; an organisation which works alongside young Londoners affected by violence and exploitation, as well as their families, peers, and a recently seconded Youth Work Practice Advisor in the Contextual Safeguarding Team. In this blog, she reflects on the work undertaken between Safer London and the Contextual Safeguarding Team to research how Safer London consider and work with peer relationships within their services.

Abianda, contextual safeguarding and participatory principles


Abi Billinghurst, Founder and CEO of Abianda, shares her experience of working with gang-affected young women, and building a social enterprise based on participatory principles. She outlines how participatory approaches are key to understanding the realities of young people’s lives and implementing a contextual approach effectively.

Using Contextual Safeguarding to design risk assessments with young people


In this blog, Deanna Neilson (Action for Children) explains how Action for Children’s Employability team in Scotland is currently redesigning its risk assessment process, in consultation with young people. The team is integrating contextual safeguarding approaches to address risks in various contexts of young people’s lives and empower them to become change agents in those harmful contexts.

Criminal exploitation of children and young people: raising awareness and developing a contextual safeguarding approach to prevention


In this new blog Emma Greenwood, a Prevention Officer on the National Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Programme, talks about the need to adopt a contextual safeguarding approach to prevention in relation to county lines and target situations or places where children may be criminally exploited or present through the course of their abuse, engaging communities, professionals and families.

A participation approach to contextual safeguarding in community spaces


In this blog Lauren Page-Hammick from Safer London talks about The Safer London CSE Safeguarding in Public Spaces Pilot, co-delivered with Peer Advisors, to hear about young people's views and experiences of their safety in three major shopping centres in London. The pilot is applicable to a range of community settings. Lauren also shares research and a toolkit developed by Safer London to support professionals in public spaces to safeguard young people.

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