Andrew Turnell

Signs of Safety Co-Creator; Licensed Signs of Safety Trainer and Consultant; CEO, Resolutions Consultancy

Andrew is an independent social worker, brief family therapist and child protection consultant from Perth, Western Australia. As well as international consultancy and teaching work, Andrew maintains a clinical practice working solely with families where child maltreatment has occurred or is suspected but the parents deny responsibility. Andrew has published extensively on the subjects of brief therapy and child protection, including his most well known works: Turnell, A. and Edwards, S. (1999) Signs of Safety: A Solution and Safety Oriented Approach to Child Protection Casework, New York, Norton. Turnell, A. and Essex, S. (2006) Working with ‘Denied’ Child Abuse: The Resolutions Approach, Open University Press. Andrew is currently preparing his third book, Building Safety in Child Protection Practice: Working with a Strengths and Solution Focus in a Risk Environment, to be published by Palgrave-Macmillan. Andrew’s PhD which he completed in 2007 at Curtin University focused on researching practitioner and service recipient-defined constructive child protection practice.

During the 1990’s, Andrew and colleague Steve Edwards, in conjunction with over 150 West Australian child protection workers, developed the Signs of Safety approach to child protection casework. The approach has won two Australian social service awards for innovative practice. Andrew has also been closely involved in the development of statutory child protection risk assessment frameworks in Victoria and Western Australia that are collaborative and participatory, that integrate professional knowledge alongside local family and cultural knowledge, and that balance information regarding danger/harm alongside strengths and safety.
Andrew regularly gives lectures and workshops in Australia, Europe, North America, Japan and New Zealand.
Having been involved in the creation of the Signs of Safety approach to front-line practice Andrew balances his time between working with front-line practitioners and supervisors developing the Signs of Safety approach itself and working with senior staff in developing processes that enable the casework approach to be implemented across child protection systems. Andrew is currently employed by statutory protection organizations in New Zealand, England, The Netherlands, Canada USA and Western Australia to providing ongoing support, supervision and consultancy in system-wide implementations of the Signs of Safety approach.

Since Andrew’s consultancy work integrates both organisational and direct practice foci this in turn flows into Andrew’s ongoing endeavour to document and prepare new written and DVD training examples and resources on the application of safety-organised practice to different case, case management and organisational contexts.