account arrow-down-linearrow-down-small arrow-downarrow-download arrow-left-small arrow-leftarrow-link arrow-rightarrow-upawarded books calendar close-modal closedate delete document education emailevent facebookhamburger impact instagramjustice linkedin location-outline location opinion page phonepinterestplay plusplyr-pause plyr-play post preview projectpublication reports resourcesearch-bigsearch series share star-full star-open startime twitterwelfare youtube zoom-in zoom-out

Webinar: Extra-familial risks and harms, trauma-informed responses, and the implications for family courts

Young people’s experiences of extra-familial risks and harms (EFRH) – including exploitation, abuse or criminality – may be both a cause and consequence of trauma. In recognition of this, many children’s social care departments have sought to develop more effective responses to EFRH through developing new organisational systems and practice approaches.

As part of the ESRC funded Innovate Project, researchers at Sussex and Durham Universities have been examining innovations to address EFRH in six sites around the country, as well as exploring emergent themes through a wider learning and development network of statutory and voluntary social care organisations.

In this webinar they will discuss the emergent findings from this work, with particular consideration of two sites who are adopting a trauma-informed approach. Specifically, they will reflect on learning to date that is of relevance to those working in the family justice sector, setting out:

a) How does innovation differ from incremental practice or system improvements and what will enable it to flourish and sustain over time?

b) How can trauma-informed approaches be used to create both internal and external safety for young people affected by EFRH, and what role may secure care play in this respect?

c) Whether young people affected by EFRH are ‘known-by’ professionals, or ‘known-to’ services, and the implications of this for building relationships of trust and collaboration in which children’s wishes and feelings can be fully considered in care-planning processes.

There will be an opportunity to participate in a discussion panel at the end.

The Nuffield FJO young people’s project is working with young people, families and professionals from across children’s services, family justice and youth justice to identify better ways to support and achieve justice for young people.

The Innovate Project is a four-year pan-UK study funded at £1.9million by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) which is exploring how social care and other safeguarding agencies are innovating to address the extra-familial risks and/or harms that young people may encounter and experience beyond the family home (including online). The project is led by Professor Michelle Lefevre and a team at the University of Sussex, working in collaboration with Durham University, Research in Practice, and Innovation Unit.


  • Headshot of Lisa Harker.
    Lisa Harker
    Director, Nuffield Family Justice Observatory
  • Michelle Lefevre
    Professor of Social Work
    University of Sussex
  • Carlene Firmin
    Professor of Social Work
    Durham University