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History and Successes of Family Safeguarding

Family Safeguarding started In 2015, by Hertfordshire, who were concerned about the dramatic rise in children coming in to care and the increasingly adversarial relationship between families and children’s services that often inhibited parental engagement.


They realised that children’s social workers, acting alone, lacked the expertise and resources to meaningfully address issues around parental mental health, domestic abuse, and parental substance misuse. Instead, they sought to bring all professionals working with a family, including adult specialists, together in one team. They also believed that professionals should engage with families using a shared approach of Motivational Interviewing, an evidence-based practice methodology proven to support change. Hertfordshire County Council successfully secured initial funding to design and implement the Family Safeguarding model through the DfE’s Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme.


Since 2015, the Family Safeguarding model has expanded across England. In 2017, the DfE funded an expansion of Family Safeguarding in four additional local authorities: West Berkshire, Bracknell Forest, Luton, and Peterborough. The successful outcomes of Family Safeguarding have led to its continued expansion across England with implementation and practice support from Hertfordshire’s Centre for Family Safeguarding Practice.

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