Complex safeguarding is an approach to safeguarding practice in Greater Manchester. It articulates Greater Manchester’s recognition that the current child protection system, legislation and practice do not adequately address the extra-familial harm and risk facing many young people. Complex safeguarding is a term that has been applied to encompass a range of safeguarding issues.

Complex safeguarding ... shifts the focus from what is going wrong in the young person’s life and the risks they face, to how young people and those around them – including social workers, other agencies and their family – can collaborate to promote their wider well-being.

The WISE partnership is working to achieve the following priorities:

  1. Achieve a shift in focus from risk to an emphasis on safety, strengths and wellbeing.
  2. Enable consideration of risks from a whole-systems perspective (including the individual/s posing the risk, the skill base and experience of the team around the young person, environmental factors, family support and family narratives).
  3. Ensure that the approach developed is inclusive and flexible, and explicitly emphasises how individual characteristics (age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and any learning needs or disabilities) interact with and influence the young person’s current context and experiences moving forward.
  4. Remove risk categories and scores such as ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’, which are reductive and shown to have no bearing on outcomes achieved.

This interim report sets out the early development stages of the WISE project.

Download the interim report (PDF, 2.2 MB)