‘Unpacking’ the Principle and why it matters  

To effectively tackle child exploitation and extra familial-harm, safeguarding partnerships and wider professionals need to pay attention to the context of children and young people’s lives – the spaces and places they spend their time, the potential for harms that can exist there and the actions that can be taken to mediate and address these.    

This applies across all spheres of children and young people’s lives – including education settings, peer groups, community spaces and online interactions – and, as such, all these spaces and places become arenas for potential intervention. Attending to places and spaces in this way allows the response to move beyond individualised interventions, to consider wider patterns of harm and risk, wider cohorts who might be affected and the ways in which this might be prevented and addressed.  

This Principle also emphasises the importance of a holistic understanding of safety, i.e. the need to think beyond the physical safety of the child to also support and strengthen their relational and psychological sense of safety.    

In my community I have opportunities to do activities and make new friends. The spaces and places where I spend my time feel safe and give me a sense of belonging.

How it should feel for a child / young person being supported