Contextual Safeguarding Toolkit


Assessments should recognise and respond to extra-familial risks that might impact a child and family. For a range examples of how to do this, select either ‘Tier Two’ or ‘Tier Two’ below. You can change tier at any point.

A Contextual Safeguarding system should be able to assess these extra-familial contexts and develop and deliver plans to target risk and increase safety in these contexts. This means that practitioners should be able to assess and plan for interventions in peer group, school, community and online contexts. By assessing and targeting the actual contexts of extra-familial risk, a Contextual Safeguarding approach does not just limit its assessment to parental capacity to safeguard, but considers the safeguarding duty and capacity of individuals and agencies responsible for those contexts.

When you start to incorporate contexts into assessments you then need to think about how to prioritise contextual interventions. One way to achieve this is thinking about which contextual factors – and contexts themselves – have the greatest influence over the problem you are trying to address. This is called 'Context Weighting' - you will find below an introduction to Context Weighting. You will also find guidance and resources for conducting a school assessment, a neighbourhood assessment and a peer group assessment and mapping.

An Introduction to Context Weighting

When you start to incorporate contexts into assessments you then need to think about how to prioritise contextual interventions. Working through this challenge is what we call ‘Context Weighting’.


Context Assessment Triangles

To support practitioners consider contexts beyond individual children and their families, we have developed three new assessment triangles: one for schools, peers and neighbourhoods.

School Assessment Toolkit

A range of tools for carrying out a school assessment including: videos, student and parent surveys, staff engagement and an assessment framework.

Neighbourhood Assessment Toolkit

Tools to support practitioners to carry out a contextual assessment within a neighbourhood context including a suite of different assessment methods.

Peer Assessment and Mapping

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


Local Assessment Protocol

This local protocol sets out arrangements for how Hackney assesses, plans and responds once a child or young person or context of concern (e.g. a peer group, a school, a defined geographical area) is referred to Hackney Children and Families Services.


Information Sharing Protocol

Hackney developed this protocol and guidance for sharing information with community stakeholders and community guardians.