Signs of Safety is a structured approach to child protection that guides our work with families. It addresses the seriousness of alleged or confirmed maltreatment by taking a balanced approach to risk assessment. It looks at both the strengths and the worries related to the identified risk. This method allows the family to remain the expert of their situation. It maximizes the possibility of collaboration between families and workers in order to achieve the ultimate goal of child safety.

The Signs of Safety approach involves looking at the circumstances surrounding a vulnerable child, while exploring related risks, family strengths and existing elements of safety. It brings together the professional knowledge of workers and community partners and the family’s wisdom and experience to create sustainable, everyday child safety in the actual home, until case closure.

Signs of Safety seeks to put the responsibility for child maltreatment back with the family that the children belong to. The safety plan is co-created with the family and is owned by the caregivers and adults in their circle. The probability of future child safety increases greatly when families and their network understand the problems, and when they have a hand in the design and implementation of their plans. The goal is always child safety.