Contextual Safeguarding Toolkit


In order to address the locations and social settings where young people are at risk of harm, practitioners need interventions that target contexts where harm occurs as well as working alongside young people and their families. There are two levels of interventions in a Contextual Safeguarding system:

At Tier One of a Contextual Safeguarding system, two broad strands of interventions may occur – and they may occur together:

  • Work directed at parents/family within the home – this is when there are familial issues that may be contributing to extra-familial harm.

  • Work directed at an individual child to reduce their risk outside the home – this includes one-to-one or individualised work is to address an issue of harm that is taking place outside the home.

At Tier Two of a Contextual Safeguarding system interventions are directed at the wider context in which harm takes place (locations, schools or peer-groups), outside of the family environment. Because they address the contextual factors that influence harm in a location, these types of interventions will hopefully reduce the risk and improve the safety of these contexts for other young people.

A menu of different interventions options for different contexts is available in the 'Assessment and intervention planning for young people at risk of extra-familial harm: A practice guide', on the Assessment (Tier One) section of this toolkit.

The Contextual Safeguarding team have also been working with organisations and agencies across the UK and internationally to develop and capture learning on interventions that address risks in a range of contexts. The Contextual Safeguarding Interventions Catalogue provides an overview of a number of example interventions that could be used by organisations and practitioners.

When planning and delivering interventions to address extra-familial harm, a number of matters should be considered across different contexts. These are outlined in a the document accessible via the blue tab below.