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The Safeguarding Integrated Framework Tool (SIFT)

6th April 2023
The desire to create certainty out of uncertainty is a fundamental tendency of the human mind, and this is never more true than when seeking to safeguard adults and children from harm.

Expectations within wider society, government and employers is high in their desire to minimise harm, however, for frontline practitioners managing uncertainty is a constant balancing act as professionals juggle autonomy and protection, with a shortage of time and resource, in increasingly complex situations.

To this end, the National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work (NCPQSW) was commissioned by the NHS in the the South West to develop CPD designed to support decision making in Safeguarding Adults and Children. Seven units were delivered to a range of professionals, with cohorts including GPs, nurses, consultants, midwives and social workers. All were leads within the practice of safeguarding.

Following its successful delivery and evaluation, NCPQSW sought to build on the learning gained from the pilot, to develop the Safeguarding Integrated Framework Tool (SIFT).

We believe tools are useful when used an prompts in practice, and can provide a legal & procedural pathway for practitioners. However, what is often missing from such tools is a deeper analysis of how our knowledge, experience, values and beliefs shape our understanding of the information we receive, and the meanings we attach to what we see, hear and read.

Whilst legislation, policy and procedures provide important frameworks to guide practice, these alone do not lead to authentic, integrated practice because they assume that we will all interpret and apply them in the same manner. The assumption is that professionals will share the same understanding of a specific situations, and thus come to the same conclusions about what needs to happen.

However, this is not always the case. Each individual has their own personal and professional lens through which they sift (ha!) their thoughts to make sense of the world, and it is when we are able to acknowledge those lenses and understand the relevance of these in our own practice, that we can begin to understands others.

Authentic, integrated decision making requires understanding of how and why we see the world as we do so as to bridge the gap between linear, procedural practice and truly reflective practice, situated in a real world context.

SIFT seeks to bridge this gap by providing alternative frames of reference to make visible the unseen, taken for grantedness of everyday practice. SIFT acts to connect professionals to their inner self, and others, to make deeper and wider connections and develop new ways of thinking that will ultimately enhance daily practice.

Please click here to take a look at some of the CPD Units that NCPQSW is able to provide:

Please contact me if you would like to know more about the SIFT tool, at:

Di Galpin

  • Di Galpin
    Lecturer in Social Work (Safeguarding)

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