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The SAFER Initiative: A case study in applying research to social enterprise: Creating impact

Devine, Lauren; Parker, Stephen



The SAFER Initiative is a newly established social enterprise venture, providing support around the child protection & safeguarding referral and assessment process. This fulfils a social need whilst creating a forum for our research findings to have direct impact. The Initiative focuses on professionals covered by s.11 Children Act 2004 who have a duty to refer families for social work assessment where there are child protection or safeguarding concerns, and support for the families who are referred and assessed. The Initiative is piloting bespoke training for professionals who may need to refer families for social work assessment, coupled with pro bono advice and support for families undergoing referral and assessment. The initiative is designed to fill a gap in existing social support provision at the early stages of the Public Law Outline 2014 (PLO). The need for high quality and appropriate interventions and support during this stage of the PLO is frequently overlooked on the grounds that these processes are not litigious. As they are intended to promote child welfare and provide family support, they are assumed to be de facto, helpful. Research findings challenge this, identifying a need for refocusing in relation to training for professionals, coupled with independent family support for referred families. This paper describes the evolution of the social enterprise Initiative which addresses both issues, starting with the theoretical and conceptual research, the ‘proof of concept’ in using the research findings to identify a social need, the idea to address the need by applying the research findings to a practical project, the business justification for the project and the challenge of establishing partners and start-up funding.


Devine, L., & Parker, S. (2015, April). The SAFER Initiative: A case study in applying research to social enterprise: Creating impact. Paper presented at Ideas for Good

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Ideas for Good
Start Date Apr 21, 2015
End Date Apr 21, 2015
Publication Date Apr 21, 2015
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords SAFER Initiative, research, applied research, social enterprise, impact, child protection, safeguarding, training, support
Publisher URL
Related Public URLs
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : Ideas for Good


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