CSCP 5 Minute Briefing - Cumbria's Practice Focus : Genograms

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CSCP 5 minute briefing

Cumbria's Practice Focus : Genograms


Signs of Safety 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.

A Genogram is a picture of a person’s family history and relationships. Creating a Genogram is one of the first pieces of work to complete with a family as this naturally leads to conversations about who is in their wider network and who can be called on for support if needed.  ​

In Signs of Safety, it is a ‘bottom line’ that the family must have a network of people around them to support them with safety planning for the child. All of our plans are family and network owned plans, so without a network we cannot involve naturally connected people who can support through the difficult times and share in the good.  ​

Developing a Genogram with the family also places them as experts in their own situation and networks from the beginning of our work with them.​

We know that when families develop their own plans to keep their children safe, they are often more successful than professionally imposed, service-led plans, so an understanding of who can be called on for support is a primary focus of all our work and is an ongoing conversation. 

sos genogram study

Genograms can be creative tools to use with the family to discuss the strength and quality of relationships, as there will often be strong connections, as well as people who are estranged or a strained relationship exists. By truly understanding the quality of the relationships, you will be able to empower families to consider the benefits of certain relationships and the support that these people can offer through our skillful use of questions.

What workers are telling us the benefits are of using Genograms with families?

“Genograms open up conversations with the family about who they have in their network”

“Exploring the network with parents and children can be very different, as parents may not get along with Grandparents, but they are important to the child. It is important to get the family tree from everyone’s perspective”

If the family are in crisis but are saying they have no family support, the genogram is a good visual tool to highlight to the family who they have available to them for support”

“A young person didn’t believe she had anyone for support. A Genogram was created with her worker and she was surprised by who she had for support. Now she is aware who she can approach for particular support”.

“Families like to know why you want to know who is in their family, building a relationship and being transparent with the family assists with this”

sos genogram study 2

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