It was recently announced that the child protection framework called “Signs of Safety” is now being adopted in 17 countries including USA, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. It was reported that in Western Australia alone the program resulted in the numbers of children needing out-of-home care over the past five years almost halving from 13% in 2007-08 to 6.7% in 2013-14. This result is significant given the amount of research that exists clearly demonstrating children who continue to live with their families have far better psychological outcomes.
The large distribution and implementation of Signs of Safety is of particular interest to Centrecare. Signs of Safety was developed in the early 1990s by then Centrecare employees Steve Edwards and Andrew Turnell. Centrecare was presented with the 1995 Community Services Industry Award, Child Protection in recognition of its development.
The recent media statement by the Hon Helen Morton MLC announcing that a Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed with the Canadian province of Alberta to share the WA-developed Signs of Safety child protection practice framework was a welcome confirmation of its further growth and relevance. It is also a testament to Andrew Turnell’s ongoing belief in the applicability of the framework to the provision of effective child protection interventions.
Centrecare is very proud of having provided the research and development investment that helped to create Signs of Safety. Our organisation continues to promote and work toward sustainable initiatives and programs that provide better outcomes in the area of child protection. It looks forward to further developments that will assist our whole community to keep children safe and valued.