SEEK: Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge
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Work with children who have sexually harmful or concerning behaviour has moved from a rigid, pessimistic, controlling approach to a more pluralistic context, where different and exciting ways of understanding and responding to the behaviour are to be found. The presentation will outline how The Junction, a Barnardos project in South Yorkshire, applies solution-focused work within the Signs of Safety framework to assess and intervene in the lives of children, their families and with the systems and professionals they encounter. The Signs of Safety (Turnell and Edwards, 1999; Myers, 2005) approach provides a clear, open and dynamic  model  of practice that includes the child, family and other networks in encouraging and supporting positive and safe change. Solution-focused techniques are used to empower children and families to seek realistic, specific and achievable actions and goals for the prevention of further problem behaviour. An example of how this works will be presented to illustrate the practices. This approach will be contrasted with more fixed and ‘fixing’ approaches to assessment that diagnose the child and locate it within a category, and reference will be made to the emerging research base for effective solution-focused approaches.