Taking Signs of Safety into the future

Children’s services needs to be done better.

Signs of Safety sets out to do this and has been making a difference around the world, involving parents and children at the center of the work.

At its core, Signs of Safety is continuously evolving based on what works for practitioners and agencies undertaking the work with children and families. This continual evolution is key to why Signs of Safety has grown over 30 years, from its birth in Australia, to reaching across the world. Continuing to evolve Signs of Safety based on what works will be at the centre of it continuing to make a difference.

To keep evolving beyond its founders, Andrew Turnell and Steve Edwards, this means passing the baton to a new group who can lead the continued evolution of Signs of Safety.

Andrew, through his company Resolutions, has broadened the approach’s leadership over the past decade, growing the community of licensed Signs of Safety trainers and consultants all around the world. In 2020, Andrew will formally step back and hand leadership and responsibility for the model over to this community.

To put this transition into effect, in January 2019 Andrew established an international, membership-led, not-for-profit organisation called Elia. The Signs of Safety trainers and consultants will form Elia’s membership and thereby take true ownership of Signs of Safety.

Elia mission is:

We work with organisations and communities anywhere in the world entrusted with the care of the most vulnerable children, to equip them to do everything possible to place the responsibility for the child’s safety and healing with the parents, children and everyone naturally connected to the family.

Wherever possible, we support organisations and communities working with other vulnerable people to use our approaches to enable their work to be more participatory.

Andrew will lead Elia for the first 18 months to assist in creating a smooth transition of responsibility. In July 2020, Andrew will step back and the membership will elect Elia’s board, so that the future of Signs of Safety will be guided from within; by people all around the world who use, train, lead, and are passionate about the approach.

Elia will work together with Munro, Turnell & Murphy Consulting to lead many whole system implementations and take over from Resolutions coordinating the largest Signs of Safety implementations around the world. Elia will be the only organisation that can certify and license Signs of Safety Trainers or Consultants. It will run International Signs of Safety Gatherings, maintain and develop the Signs of Safety Knowledge Bank, and continue to develop the Signs of Safety Information Systems with IT Partners.

By establishing Elia as a membership-led, not-for-profit, Signs of Safety will be placed in the hands of those who are passionate about protecting the vulnerable children and are on the ground training and leading Signs of Safety all around the world. Elia will be the new home for Signs of Safety, continuing to evolve the approach and helping children’s services achieve better outcomes for children and families.

For more information, please visit the Elia website.