Contextual safeguarding was developed by Dr Carlene Firmin at the University of Bedfordshire. It is an approach to understanding, and responding to, risk to young people beyond their families. It looks at how and when interventions can change processes and environments, to make them safer for all young people. As children move from early childhood and into adolescence, they spend increasing amounts of time independent of their families. During this time the nature of young people’s schools and neighbourhoods, and the relationships that they form in these places, inform the extent to which they encounter protection or abuse.


Wiltshire is one of just five local areas that has been selected to work with the University of Bedfordshire as part of their ‘scale up’ Contextual Safeguarding project. The project will support Wiltshire Council and our partners to improve the way we work by embedding a new contextual safeguarding approach across Wiltshire over the next three years. The project will involve rethinking how we can all work together to safeguard young people, reducing the risks they face.


Read the briefing Contextual Safeguarding Briefing to find out more.

Watch the videos on contextual safeguarding and what it means in practice for different social contexts:

Join the Contextual Safeguarding Network to keep up to date.