Extra Familial Harm
What is Extra Familial Harm?
Extra Familial Harm, sometimes known as harm outside the home and contextual safeguarding, is term used to describe the risk and harm a child is typically facing from outside their family network.
(Please note that you will see references to all three terms throughout this page).
Quite often, the focus of ‘risk of harm’ is intrafamilial (within the home environment), however many other risks, including child exploitation, pose a threat to a child within the wider context, outside of their the home and are equally important when identifying safeguarding concerns.
Take a look at some of the resources below to help inform your practice and find support or read more in our one minute guide to contextual safeguarding here
The principles of Contextual Safeguarding
This short video gives a helpful overview of Contextual Safeguarding and its core principles.
How do we respond to Extra Familial Harm in the Wakefield District?
Below is some quick guidance for practitioners working or volunteering with children and their families to identify and respond to extra familial harm.
Relationship buildingShow detailsMake time to hear what a child is telling you as they are the expert of their experience.
Connect with a child - explore topics such as music, hobbies or food
Be transparent about your concerns and your intentions.
Do what you say you will & avoid overpromising.
Being Trauma InformedShow detailsMake every contact count.
Prioritise physical, psychological and emotional safety. Ask what a child needs to feel safe.
Those who have experienced trauma may feel powerless to control what happens to them so working to empower a child will give them a sense of agency.
Reflect on your own experiences & biases & how systems & processes can perpetuate not accessing support. Recognise & address power dynamics.
Language to empowerShow detailsWhen talking about children & exploitation, language matters. It can be the difference between a child being effectively supported or feel they cannot access support. A child is not to blame for their abuse and the language we use should always reflect this.
The misuse of language can perpetuate blame and bias.
Download the Children’s Society Language Toolkit
The importance of language
How the language we use can open up contextual opportunitites to keep children safe
A short video by Dr Carlene Firmin which looks at the language we use when discussing harm outside the home.