Context is key and understanding the context of a child’s life is essential for effective safeguarding. In terms of practice, this is about how the partnership works together to better understand the lived experience of children at home, in education and in health, alongside those aspects that are typically outside of the family environment; such as peer groups, places and spaces, and the virtual world that children occupy through their use of technology and social media.
Knowing about these contexts will help us determine whether they reflect pathways to harm or pathways to protection. However, it is usual that no one individual has oversight on the detail of everything. In this respect, a first and important step is to make sure that professionals are confident in sharing information and talking with each other. If you are worried about a child or young person, you are allowed to talk with other professionals without fearing you are doing something wrong. You aren’t. Talking to each other and sharing information when trying to protect people from actual or likely harm or to prevent a crime is lawful and in the substantial public interest.