CSCP 5 Minute Briefing - Partner Briefing : New Practice Bottom Lines 31 March 2021

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CSCP 5 minute briefing

Briefing for Partners – New Practice Bottom Lines for Children Looked After being Introduced 31 March 2021


As you will be aware, Signs of Safety is our approach to social work practice with children and families in Cumbria. The methodology supports our vision that the best place for children and young people to grow up is within their families and networks where they have the potential to care for them safely, and when this is not possible, to provide a secure and stable home and help them achieve their full potential.

In order to ensure the consistency of practice across Cumbria that is both high quality and working within the Signs of Safety principles, on 1st December children’s social care introduced ‘bottom lines’ of practice. Whilst children's social care will largely lead on these, it is critical our partners are aware of how practice will look and how you can support this to ensure the best possible outcomes for children and families. Multi-agency partnership working is key to effective and sustainable safety planning for children, and we are committed to ensuring our communication on practice is as transparent and joined-up as possible.

From 1st December the bottom lines applied to all new Child in Need and Child Protection cases and these were supported by a launch of our new case conference agenda and multi-agency report template available on the CSCP website Child Protection Conferences

We are now moving onto the second phase of our implementation of practice bottom lines, and from 31st March we will be applying these same practice bottom lines to all new Children Looked After cases. The bottom lines with Children Looked After will enable us to use the same consistency of practice throughout a child’s journey and enable us to effectively plan safety and welling by ensuring all our planning is led by the voice of the child, and we can continue to focus on the child being connected to the people that are important to them.  

We have produced two recorded briefings to give a comprehensive overview of Signs of Safety and how this is applied in practice. These two briefing will give an overview of the whole practice model and details the practice approach that is used in Child Protection and Early Help, and now being embedded our Children Looked After teams. The briefings give an overview of the type of conversations, questions, and tools you can expect to see being used across the Local Authority.

These briefings can be found on the CSCP website and can also be accessed here: 

Signs of Safety Partner Briefings

Signs of Wellbeing and Success

If you have any questions about the practice bottom lines, please email