LSCBLocal Safeguarding Children Board Northamptonshire

Meet Martina - Family Support Worker

Putting Signs of Safety into Practice

Signs of Safety is an internationally successful model which will transform the way we work with children and families across the county.

The Signs of Safety model is about building relationships and working together; with families and children, professionals and colleagues, and identifying together areas that need to change, including worries and risk, whilst focusing on the strengths, resources and networks.
During November, Northamptonshire County Council delivered a series of launch events to share more about Signs of Safety and the difference the methodology will make to practitioners’ work with children and families.

At the events, Family Support Worker Martina Garcia shared her experiences of using some of the Signs of Safety tools in her work, and described how they are really working well for her, and have helped bring more out of children and families in a creative way.

Martina said: “The Signs of Safety tools have transformed my work with children and families. Since I’ve started using them, I feel much more confident about exploring different areas with the family.

“The tools are a really powerful and creative way to encourage children to express their feelings, you can bring so much more out of them by using them.

“I’ve had recent success with the Three Houses tool where I’m working with a family whose child is living with foster carers and will be returning home. This is an unsettling time for the child, so with the Three Houses Tool, they have been able to tell me more about their worries by drawing pictures in the House of Worries and we’ve explored these further together.

“In the House of Good Things, the child shared what they like about being with their family, and in the House of Dreams they told me more about what they want for the future. I got so much out of a half an hour session with the child, and I can use this to build on at the next session. The tools are a really positive and interactive way to work with children.

“I have so much confidence in Signs of Safety, and the tools will help my work with parents too. They focus on strengths and give parents responsibility so they are part of the journey to getting them where they want to be. I’ve seen relationships with parents improve a lot since using the Signs of Safety methodology.

“Another great thing about the tools is that they can be adapted to what you need them to be for different families, so they are really usable and can be used as working documents.

“I’m looking forward to Signs of Safety being implemented for the children and families workforce, and together with them, being part of making a positive difference to children and families across Northamptonshire.”

Last updated: 12 July 2023

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