Plymouth Adolescent Safety Framework
A new way of responding to and supporting older children and young people aged 11 – 18 (aged 25 for care leavers) is being introduced across the city. The Adolescent Safety Framework (ASF) understands the different needs of this age group and is designed to respond to harm experienced outside the family home. Existing safeguarding systems were developed to protect children and young people from harm mainly from within the family. However there has been an increasing recognition of the different risks young people face outside the family home. This could be in their communities, within a peer group, online or in school. These risks can be described as ‘contextual’ and so the ASF is based on the principles of ‘contextual safeguarding.’ The sorts of contextual risks and threats to young people’s safety can be:
- Child sexual exploitation
- Peer exploitation
- Child criminal exploitation
- Gang Activity
- Online exploitation
Plymouth’s ASF is based on the work of Devon Children and Families Partnership’s model which is in turn based on the national Safer Me approach, the work of Hackney Children’s Services and research from The Contextual Safeguarding Network. It provides a way of assessing, planning and intervening at an early help, child in need and child protection level where concerns are from outside the home.
A Phased Approach to Introducing the ASF
A phased approach to introducing the ASF is being taken with October 2021 being an awareness raising month ready then from the 1st November 2021 for the Safer Me assessment and Safer Me/Safer Me Plus meetings to be in use. The 1st November will also see the Exploitation Hub becoming operational within the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub. January 2022 will then see the start of Peer Group, Neighbourhood and School Context Conferences.
The ASF brings into practice new ways of doing things with the use of new terms and paperwork. So please find more detailed information about the changes including step by step guidance and copies of the paperwork at our dedicated ASF page Plymouth Adolescent Safety Framework