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Contextual safeguarding

Contextual safeguarding is an approach used by practitioners who are working with children, young people and families. It seeks to identify and respond to harm and abuse posed to young people from outside their home. It recognises that relationships that young people form in their community, at school and online can put them at risk, or cause them harm. This approach also recognises young people may encounter risk in multiple contexts and that these risks may be interrelated.

This approach to safeguarding requires children’s services to engage with those outside the family when assessing risk to a young person. The influence of peers on a young person’s development and safety will be taken into account. This includes harm posed by adults but also other young people.

This approach to work with young people can be helpful for example in the context of child sexual exploitation, and gang involvement.

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