Safeguarding Children Assessment and Analysis Framework (SAAF)


The SAAF provides a systematic, robust, evidence-based and time-efficient model and a range of methods for assessing and analysing in the safeguarding context.


Assessment and analysis of:

  • the nature and level of harm to a child or young person
  • the risks of re-abuse/likelihood of future harm
  • the prospects for successful intervention in child protection cases


Seven-stage model* of assessment, analysis and intervention

  1. Identification of harm and initial safeguarding
  2. Full assessment of the child’s needs, parenting capacity, family and environmental factors; creating a comprehensive chronology
  3. Establishing the nature and level of harm and harmful effects, and creating a profile of harm
  4. Making a ‘safeguarding analysis’ to assess the risks of re-abuse/likelihood of future harm and to determine the prospects for successful intervention
  5. Developing a plan of intervention to include therapeutic work in a context of safety and protection from harm
  6. Rehabilitation of the child to the family when living separately, or moving on from a context of protection and support
  7. Placement of children in new family contexts where rehabilitation is not possible.


The SAAF is particularly useful in:

  • In complex cases, where there are concerns about whether a child in need should be the subject of a section 47 enquiry;
  • Where there has been a section 47 enquiry and decisions are being made about what action to take.
  • When considering whether a child should be made subject of, or remain the subject of, a child protection plan;
  • In applications by a local authority for a care or supervision order.
  • In private law cases where there are concerns the child might be suffering significant harm (section 8 of the Children Act 1989).

Learn more

Learn more about training for groups of staff in the use of SAAF:

* The seven-stage model is described in Bentovim, A., Cox, A., Bingley Miller, L. and Pizzey, S. (2009) Safeguarding Children Living with Trauma and Violence: Evidence-based Assessment, Analysis and Planning Interventions. London: JKP.