The practice problem
Safeguarding young people from extra-familial risks or harm is complicated through the fact that binary notions of childhood and adulthood continue to prevail in society and within social care. There are a range of arguments for more fluid and transitional approaches for young people entering adulthood:
What is Transitional Safeguarding?
Transitional Safeguarding is an emergent concept, which aims to stimulate evidence-informed multi-agency local safeguarding systems change across services for children’s and adults’ safeguarding. The term was coined following a review of practice evidence by Research in Practice and engagement with the sector. Innovation based on Transitional Safeguarding will be informed by evidence of the distinctive developmental needs of adolescents transitioning into young adulthood, and better reflect the connected nature of harm and its impact for individuals, services and society.
Transitional safeguarding has three distinctive characteristics:
The case studies
Local areas engaging with Transitional Safeguarding are already beginning to apply the approach in systems re-design and service delivery. This developmental stage makes the prospect of researching innovation in this context an exciting one, with opportunities for the Innovate Project to map closely how developments unfold and what challenges and opportunities are encountered along the way. Two different local authorities, organisations or networks in the UK will be involved as case studies of Transitional Safeguarding. Each case study will look at how practice or service innovations are developed in that specific system. We will consider why Transitional Safeguarding was chosen for that context and how local factors influence the way it is interpreted and implemented. We will explore the specific levers and barriers to innovation which are encountered in each site. Through this, we will learn more about the effectiveness of the Transitional Safeguarding approach and how it might be scaled and spread elsewhere.
A strategic briefing on Transitional Safeguarding was published by Research in Practice in 2018.
A short video introducing Transitional Safeguarding and how it will be featured in the Innovate Project has been produced by Dez Holmes and Susannah Bowyer, from Research in Practice.
Dez Holmes has also produced a longer video on supporting young people to transition to adulthood and safeguarding from harm: Risks, Resilience and Relationships: Safeguarding adolescents into adulthood.
More information about Transitional Safeguarding theory, and what it means for practice, will be found on this site as findings emerge.
Who is involved with this strand of the project?
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