Crisis brings opportunity and change

Childrens Services Support Group BannerIn the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is in a period of uncertainty as it’s never known before. There are so many new things to think through and consider in every aspect of our lives — so many mixed messages and it’s confusing.

In Children’s Services, we are navigating uncertainty all the time, making judgements, holding them lightly, reflecting and adjusting our judgements, decisions and plans as new information is added and analysed. We are always being prepared to be wrong. We do uncertainty every day in Childrens Services! It’s hard, anxiety provoking and there is so often the strong desire to control it somehow.

To help address this, we have created the a private Facebook group called Signs of Safety — Children’s Services Support Group as a way of creating a digital discussion forum; amidst the panic of COVID-19 we wanted it to happen quickly. In Signs of Safety, our biggest strength is our international community. Signs of Safety is used by agencies all over the world. We believe our biggest strength is the support that can be gathered by practitioners all over the world, to keep children connected to the family they naturally belong with.

Our aims for the group are to

  • harness the strength of an international community
  • share ideas, create discussion topics, post short videos
  • encourage you to post questions, queries, challenges, and things that are working well

This is how the Signs of Safety approach was developed and how it evolved. Now is a fantastic opportunity to continue to share and support each other as a worldwide community of child protection workers.

I can’t express how much this group, the videos, shared resources and comments have really helped to ground me this week, to continue to lead my team, show my vulnerability, and continue to be practice-rich in all we do in this really challenging time.

In this private Facebook group, set up especially for practitioners, we will share how we think about managing uncertainty and hear your best ideas for that too. We want to explore how you thought about this part of the work before the pandemic, and how you think about it now.

The group is a safe space to ask questions, let us know your thoughts, tell us what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, what’s helping and where you’re having even the smallest successes. Likewise, we would love to know where it is hard, what challenges you, what scares you the most, what makes it harder for you and the families you work with? Where you have tried something and feel like it didn’t go well, what did you learn?

The group is already filled with activity and creating a real excitement in almost 1000 (and counting!) practitioners from across the whole world. If you are a child protection worker or in a partner agency, using Signs of Safety or not, and would like support from other workers, please apply to join the group.