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Blog Index
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UK Sites
A resource for practitioners in the North East of England and adjoining regions, who are interested in developing and promoting models of collaborative brief therapy. The network offers support, information and learning through events and publications.p>
UK Association for Solution Focused Practice: The national association for anyone in the UK using a Solution Focused approach to their work. Provides a regular newsletter with many interesting contributions, discussion group, register of practitioners and trainers and hosts an annual conference.
Website for the Brief Therapy Practice in London. Chris Iveson, Harvey Ratner, Evan George, Guy Shennan, Jasmin Ajmal and Jane Lethem. The site keeps us up to date with their training courses and workshops. They also have an interesting section on practice notes.
A professional interest group, open to anyone who uses Solution Focused Therapy (SFT) in the region. They meet 5 times a year, in Leeds, to exchange ideas, share training, and support each other with SFT work. The website includes a comprehensive bibliography and an article by Andrew Turnell.
John Wheeler is a solution focused trainer. Since 1993 he has trained over 2000 practitioners and managers in a wide range of services in statutory and voluntary settings. In addition he has delivered training to various professional courses and presented workshops and key note addresses at professional conferences in the UK and abroad.

Guy Shennan is an independent consultant who specialises in solution focused practice. The website has details of the services and the training he offers, and of current and future projects and interests. In his blog he shares ideas gleaned from his experience and activity, collaborations and collisions, reading and reflections.

International Sites
This website describes solution-focused, safety-organised child protection practice and the work of Andrew Turnell who collaborates with practitioners and agencies from all over the world in developing, implementing and describing these ideas.
The Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee USA and the home of solution-focused brief therapy. Here you will find Steve de Shazer's "recent thoughts", Insoo Kim Berg's "Hot tips", Gale Miller's column called "mind your language" Peter de Jong's thoughts about practice and research and a newly created student's corner.
Website for the European Brief Therapy Association. This provides an ever-growing collection of research, articles and information on the annual conferences. Have a look at the photos for previous conferences and see who you can recognize.


The following reference list is reproduced from Andrew Turnell’s Signs of Safety website with his kind permission.

Berg, I.K. (1994). Family based services: a solution focused approach. New York: Norton.

Berg, I. K., & Kelly, S. (2000). Building solutions in child protective services. New York: Norton.

Berg, I. K. (2000). What kind of questions in my initial assessment interview with generate solutions and enhance safety? In Howard Dubowitz and Diane DePanfilis (eds.) Handbook of child protection practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Berg, I. K., & De Jong, P. (2004). Building solution-focused partnerships in children’s protective and family services. Protecting Children, 19(2): 3–13. Berg, I. K., De Jong, P. & Gonzales, J (accessed June 2007) Safety Planning in Children's Protective Services: Building Solutions with Clients. 60 Minute video available from:

Christianson, B. and Maloney, S. (2006) One family’s journey: a case study utilising complementary conferencing processes, Protecting Children, 21: 31-37.

de Boer, C. & Coady, N. (2003) Good Helping Relationships in Child Welfare: Co-authored Stories of Success. Partnerships for Children and Families Project, Faculty of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON. Available at:

de Boer, C. & Coady, N. (2007) Good helping relationships in child welfare: learning from stories of success, Child & Family Social Work 12 (1), 32–42.

De Jong, P. & Berg, I.K. (2001). Co-constructing cooperation with mandated clients, Social Work, 46,4: 361-375.

De Jong, P., Jiordano, M., Cowan, D. & Kelly, S. (Accessed 20/08/07). Solution-focused strategies in child welfare: promoting family inclusion and supportive staff development in a solution focused framework. Available at:

DePanfilis, D. (2000). How do I assess the strengths in families? In Howard Dubowitz and Diane DePanfilis (eds.) Handbook of child protection practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Elliot, B., Mulroney, L. & O’Neil, D. (2000). Promoting family change: the optimism factor. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.

Ferguson, H. (2001). Promoting child protection, welfare and healing: the case for developing best practice. Child and Family Social Work, 6, 1-12.

Ferguson, H. (2003). Outline of a critical best practice perspective for social work and social care. British Journal of Social Work 33: 1005 – 1024.

Ferguson, H. (2005). Protecting Children in Time: Child Abuse, Child Protection and the Consequences of Modernity. London: Palgrave.

Fleming, J. (1998). Valuing families in statutory practice. Child Abuse Prevention, 6(1): 1-4.

Healy, K. (2005). Social work theories in context; creating frameworks for practice, London:Palgrave.

Hogg, V. & Wheeler, J. (2004) Miracles R them: solution-focused practice in a social services duty team. Practice, 16(4): 299-314.

Inoue, N., Inoue, K., Fujisawa, Y., Hishida, O., Hirai, T., Naruse, H,. & Yamada, M. (2006a) The 5 spaces model helps professionals cooperate with families and collaborate with other professionals in the child protection field. Journal of Nihon Fukushi University Clinical Psychological Research Center, 1, 43-49.

Inoue, N., Inoue, K. & Shionoya, M. (2006b) Training effects of case management skills working with child abuse and neglect: utilizing Signs of Safety approach. Japanese Journal of Child Abuse and Neglect, 8(2), 268-279.

Jack, R. (2005). Strengths-based practice in statutory care and protection work. In Mary Nash, Robyn Munford and Kieran O’Donoghue (eds.) Social work theories in action. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Koziolek, D. (2007). Implementing Signs of Safety in Carver County, Child Welfare News, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, University of Minnesota, Fall 2007: 1-8.

Lohrbach, S., & Sawyer, R. (2003). Family Group Decision Making: a process reflecting partnership-based practice, Protecting Children, 19(2): 12-15.

Lohrbach, S., & Sawyer, R. (2004). Creating a constructive practice: family and professional partnership in high-risk child protection case conferences, Protecting Children, 19(2): 26-35.

Lohrbach, S., Sawyer, R., Saugen, J., Astolfi, C., Worden, P. & Xaaji, M. (2005). Ways of working in child welfare practice: a perspective on practice, Protecting Children, 20(1): 26-35.

Madsen, W. (2007). Collaborative therapy with multi-stressed families: from old problems to new futures (2nd Edition). New York: Guildford.

McCullum, S. (1995). Safe Families: A Model of Child Protection Intervention Based on Parental Voice and Wisdom, Unpublished PhD thesis, Ontario, Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University.

Murphy, E. (2000). A solution-focused approach to working in partnership with young people and families. In Ann Wheal (ed.) Working with parents: learning from other people’s experience. London: Russell House Publishing.

Myers S. (2005). A signs of safety approach to assessing children with sexually concerning or harmful behaviour. Child Abuse Review 14: 97-112.

Mylan, T., & Lethem, J. (1999). Searching for strengths in child protection assessment: from guidelines to practice. London: BT Press.

O’Neil, D. & McCashen, W. (1991). Competency based family support: brief therapy as a tool in goal setting and family valuing in child protection work: Family Therapy Case Studies, 6(2): 3-12.

O’Neil, D. (2006). How can a strengths approach increase safety in a child protection context? Children Australia, 30(4): 28-32 Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (accessed 20/08/07). “Presuming the positive" as part of strengths-based treatment in working with children and families. Available

Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (accessed 20/08/07). Strengths-based treatment of children: what it is and what it isn't. Available

Rymarchyk, G. (2000). Solution-focused interventions in child protective investigation: a promising alternative for working with families. Phd Thesis, Cornell University.

Scott, D., & O'Neil, D. (1996). Beyond child rescue: developing family-centred practice at St Lukes. Sydney: Allen and Unwin. Shennan, G. ‘Doing it in child protection’ Solution News 2(3): 15-19. Available at:

Söderquist, M. & Suskin-Holmqvist, A. (2006). Delacktighet. Stockholm: Mareld. Ta-Nahisi & Coates, P. (2006). When parents are a threat. Time Magazine, April 30. Available at:,9171,1189256,00.html

Teoh, A.H., Laffer, J., Parton, N. & Turnell, A. (2003). Trafficking in meaning: Constructive social work in child protection practice. In C. Hall, K. Juhila, N. Parton, & T. Pösö (Eds.), Client as practice. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Turnell, A. & Edwards, S. (1997). Aspiring to partnership: The signs of safety approach to child protection casework, Child Abuse Review, 6: 179 - 190.

Turnell, A. & Edwards, S. (1999). Signs of safety: a solution and safety oriented approach to child protection casework. New York: Norton.

Turnell, A., Elliott, S. & Hogg, V. (2007). Compassionate, safe and rigorous child protection practice with parents of adopted children. Child Abuse Review 16(2): 108-119.

Turnell A. & Essex S. (2006). Working with situations of ‘denied’ child abuse: the Resolutions approach. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Turnell A., Lohrbach, S and Curran, S. (Forthcoming). Working with the ‘involuntary client’ in child protection: lessons from successful practice. In M. Calder (Ed.) The carrot or the stick? Towards effective practice with involuntary clients, London: Russell House Publishing.

Turnell, A. (2004). Relationship-grounded, safety-organised child protection practice: Dreamtime or real-time option for child welfare? Protecting Children, 19(2): 14–25.

Turnell, A. (2005) Introduction to the Signs of Safety Approach. 45 minute DVD available from:'s.html

Turnell, A. (2006). Constructive Child Protection Practice: An Oxymoron or News of Difference? Journal of Systemic Therapies 25(2): 3-12. Turnell, A. (2006). Tecken på säkerhet - Signs of Safety på svenska. In M. Söderquist. & A. Suskin-Holmqvist, A. (Eds.), Delaktighet - Lösningsfokuserat förhållningssätt i utredningsarbete. Stockholm: Mareld.

Turnell, A. (2007). Words and pictures: informing and involving children in child abuse cases. 75 minute DVD available from:'s.html

Turnell A. (Forthcoming Summer 2007). Solution-focused brief therapy: thinking and practicing beyond the therapy room. In F. Thomas and T. Nelson (Eds.), Clinical Applications of Solution-focused Brief Therapy, Bimmington: Haworth Press USA.

Turnell A. (In press). Building safety in child protection practice: working from a strengths perspective. London: Palgrave.

Tuttle, A., Knudson-Martin, C., Levin, S., Taylor, B. and Andrews, J. (2007). Parents' Experiences in Child protective Services: Analysis of a Dialogical Group Process, Family Process, 46(3): 367-380.

Walsh, T. (1997). Solution-focused child protection – towards a positive frame for social work practice. Department of Social Studies Occasional Paper no.6, Trinity College, Dublin.

Walsh, T. (2006). Two sides of the same coin: ambiguity and complexity in child protection social work, Journal of Systemic Therapies, 25(2): 38-49.

Weakland, J. & Jordon, L. (1992). Working briefly with reluctant clients: child protections services as an example. Journal of Family Therapy, 14: 231-254. This classic paper is available free at:

Weld, N. (2008). The three houses tool: building safety and positive change. In M. Calder (Ed.) Contemporary risk assessment in safeguarding children, Lyme Regis: Russell House Publishing

Weld, N. and Appleton, C. (2008). Walking in other people’s worlds: a practical and philosophical guide to social work. Auckland: Pearson Publishing.

West Berkshire Council (2008) How was the 'Strengthening Families' framework developed? Available at:

Westbrock, S. (2006). Utilizing the Signs of Safety framework to create effective relationships with child protection service recipients. MSW Clinical Research, University of St Thomas, St Paul Minnesota.

Wheeler, J., Hogg, V. and Fegan, G. (2006). Signs of wellbeing: a tool for early intervention. Context, 86: 5-8.

Wheeler J. (2005). Solution-focused front line services. Solution News. 1(4): 3-5. Available at:

Wheeler, J. and Hogg, V. (2011), Signs of safety and the child protection movement, in C. Franklin, T. Trepper, E. McCollum W. Gingerich, (eds.), Solution-focused brief therapy: a handbook of evidence-based practice, New York: Oxford University Press USA.