Social Enterprise

Solutions for Safeguarding CIC

Funded by a ‘do it’ social enterprise start-up award from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and UnLtd

Originally conceived as ‘The SAFER Initiative’, the idea of starting a social enterprise that would benefit referrers and referred families grew from the Safer Children? funded project.  This empirical project looked at child protection and safeguarding training in schools, and identified that provision was largely unregulated, expensive and driving a high number of low risk referrals.  We wanted to provide a means of supporting families who were not abusing their children, but who found themselves in a very stressful situation without access to free advice.  ‘SAFER’, an acronym for ‘support after family education-based referrals’ grew to the more ambitious idea that there was a linked need for cost effective and ethical training, the proceeds of which would be fed directly back into providing a service for families.

The CIC provides a means for an impact activity with immediate and identifiable community benefit. It occupies a unique position in that it offers an ethical model of safeguarding referrals for organisations and agencies under a statutory duty to refer children, or who wish to refer children and need advice on an appropriate policy framework.  This runs in tandem with a socially responsible model of family information and pro-bono advice for referred families:

The CIC provides:

  • Non-profit making, research-led training and consultancy for agencies and professionals who are under a statutory duty to report welfare concerns to local authorities for investigation; and
  • Over and above running costs the revenue is used to provide high quality and comprehensive pro-bono advice & impartial information for the referred families.

The unique feature of the enterprise is synthesis between the provision of services for the referrer and the referee. The ethos of the CIC is to encourage a socially responsible approach to non-consensual referrals for welfare interventions by balancing this with adequate information and advice for those referred.  This enables the development of knowledge exchange between research and business & practitioner, public services, the third sector and the public.

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