Pembrokeshire County Council
In 2014, Pembrokeshire made a commitment to adopting the Sign’s of Safety approach to practice across children’s and adult services. Pembrokeshire is the first Local Authority to brave the adult services world!
As an organisation, we have made considerable progress with our implementation plan. We are leading the way in Pembrokeshire, gathering international interest as we are the first Local Authority that has taken on the challenge to adopt a whole systems approach to transforming practice across children’s and adult services.
Andrew Turnell, co creator of the Sign’s of Safety Model, and Viv Hogg, the Regional Director for the UK, are extremely interested and excited about the progress we are making. Viv was truly inspired at the possibilities for our practice within Adult Services when a case mapping example was shared from the Community Team for People with Learning Disabilities.
“The opportunities for practitioners and the citizens of Pembrokeshire are inspirational and will open doors for other areas to learn from!”
The child protection conferencing process is one example of how we have changed our practice with families who are consistently reporting how well they feel able to engage with the meeting and take control to seek their own solutions with the support from agencies. This is a big shift from the previous working practices.
We have completed an intense training schedule where all staff across adults and children’s services have been through the induction programme with our mentor Bev Edwards. Feedback has been really positive with practitioners from Children’s & Adult Services valuing the opportunity to work and learn together.
“More of this please!”
“It’s great that we’re all on the journey together, it’s about time we all spoke the same language”
“We can really see how this is going to work, even for our OT assessments”
Almost all senior managers have completed the 5 day residential training, including the Director for Social Services and Leisure, Head of Children’s services and Head of Adult services.
We continue to offer a rolling programme of training for multi agency partners, students and new members of staff.
Signs of Safety Leadership Group:
Pembrokeshire has developed a leadership group that oversees the implementation plan. Through the work streams we have developed strong partnerships with staff on the front line through to third sector agencies, health, education and safeguarding boards for adults and children.
On the ground:
People accessing services are reporting improved experiences and better personal outcomes having been through safeguarding processes delivered using Sign’s of Safety. Parents have told us the model of practice provides clarity on what they need to do to satisfy the department risk no longer features within their family. This is echoed by adults and their families / carers who have been through adult safeguarding procedures.
Although we have some way to go, significant changes have been made with systems for safeguarding people, children and adults. Sign’s of Safety featured as a real strength in practice during recent PLO inspection and Adult Safeguarding inspection.
The organisation is committed to developing a workforce that builds on strengths and relationships and is modelling this through policy development.