Working with Signs of Safety: Parents' perception of change

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Signs of Safety (SoS) is an approach used to work with families involved with children's services that was developed in Australia during the 1990s. Despite the fact that it has been adopted by countries across the globe, the evidence for its effectiveness in relation to improved outcomes for children has not been established. This study attempted to take an initial step in measuring the impact of SoS on families. In the course of evaluating SoS in 10 areas across England, the authors collected data from social workers using the approach and from families with whom they were working who also gave permission for their case records to be examined. Where social workers were more confident about using SoS and had consistently applied its elements, more families reported improvements in their lives. Families with social workers who had higher confidence in using SoS were also more likely to say that they had achieved more than expected against their earlier stated goals and were more likely to report positively against self-defined goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-164
Number of pages11
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Issue number1
Early online date26 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Signs of Safety
  • child protection
  • evaluation
  • parents
  • social work


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