Norfolk Signs of Safety, Family Network Approach & Family Group Conference

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Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership (NSCP) has adopted Signs of Safety as the basis of work with children across all partner agencies engaged in providing services for Children in Norfolk. Signs of Safety has also been adopted by Norfolk County Council Children’s Services and the Norfolk Children and Young People’s Strategic Alliance (CYPSA) as the core philosophy for working with children and families across Norfolk.

The Family Network Approach is an integral component to Signs of Safety practice. We know that young people grow more resilient and are more likely to achieve better outcomes when they have the support of a naturally connected network, yet this is one of the most underdeveloped areas in safeguarding. We also know that plans are likely to be more successful when they are led and owned by the family and their wider network, rather than being imposed on them by workers.

Central to the Signs of Safety and Family Networking approach is the use of specific practice tools and processes. These support family networks and professionals to work with each other in partnership to address concerns and find solutions to meet the needs of children.

The Family Networking Approach is encompassed in all Family Group Conference (FGC) work with FGCs offering a specific opportunity for families and their extended network to come together and make a robust plan with the facilitation of an independent FGC Coordinator.

In Norfolk FGCs are currently offered to families by the Children’s Services Family Group conference and Family Networking Advisory Service when defined criteria is met.

FGCs are offered:

  • within Child in Need and Child Protection as part of support & safety planning for children to have needs met by parents and/or network,
  • planning for family time,
  • when Family Support services are coming to an end,
  • where there are difficulties with a child’s education or attending school (as part of escalation process).

Where families do not meet the criteria for an FGC all professionals are encouraged and able to hold a Family Network Meeting. This is a safe and inclusive space for the network to have an open future focused discussion and create a plan with a clear purpose.

This section contains various Signs of Safety and Family Networking practice tools and information for direct work with children and their family networks to help understand the Signs of Safety ethos and methodology.

Signs of Safety Resources

Family Networking Resources

Family Group Conference Resources

Other Resources

Signs of Safety does not preclude the use of other well tested evidence based theories and assessment tools used by a wide spectrum of professionals, indeed it complements them.

Signs of Safety and Family Network Foundation Training

The Signs of Safety and Family Network Foundation training course is aimed at those who work directly with children and families.

For more information please see our NSCP training booking page.

Signs of Safety and Family Network Foundation Approach E-learning

The introduction to Norfolk Signs of Safety and Family Network Approach E-learning is aimed at those who need to have an understanding of this approach but may not need the foundation training.

The link to access this training can be found on the NSCP Training page.


For information about the 5 day Advanced Training, please contact