Whole-system change

We equip child protection and family service organisations to implement lasting changes that deliver better outcomes for vulnerable children and their families. 

Child protection systems around the world are facing common problems such as increasing numbers of children taken into care, staff burnout and turnover, and adversarial relationships between families and professionals.

Elia is uniquely positioned to help organisations tackle challenges like these. We bring a true international perspective with a team of trainers, consultants and staff from all around the world with experience delivering whole-country and state-wide implementations.

Elia brings a whole-system approach to change; combining organisational leadership, practice, academic and research experience to implementation strategies that:

  • focus on alignment of practice, policy, systems and leadership

  • manage the complexity of child protection practice and organisation

  • improve the quality of help given to children, young people and their families

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The Home of Signs of Safety

Signs of Safety is an innovative, strengths-based, safety-organised approach to child protection work originally created in Western Australia by Andrew Turnell and Steve Edwards.

Signs of Safety is continuously evolving based on what works for practitioners doing the work with families. This continual evolution is key to why Signs of Safety has grown over 20 years; from its birth in Australia, to make a difference across the world. 

Elia is the home of Signs of Safety and is the only organisation that can accredit and license Signs of Safety Trainers and Consultants. Elia runs the Signs of Safety website and the Signs of Safety Knowledge Bank to share information and resources about the approach. We run International Signs of Safety Gatherings to highlight and share good practice, and partner with IT suppliers to develop certified Signs of Safety Information Systems to support organisations record their practice in a way that aligns with how they work with families.

Elia and its membership are committed to continuing to evolve Signs of Safety based on what works. This will be at the centre of ensuring Signs of Safety continues to make a difference — from today into the future.

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Membership-led, not-for-profit

Elia is an international, not-for-profit organisation with a global membership, made up of Signs of Safety Trainers and Consultants as well as our staff — all committed to our mission.

We have chosen this structure so that Elia is always accountable in our mission to those who are on the ground working alongside organisations to deliver better outcomes for vulnerable children and their families.

Elia was founded by Signs of Safety Co-Creator Andrew Turnell at the beginning of 2019. Andrew Turnell is the current CEO and sits on Elia’s founding board alongside Joke Wiggerink and Adam Brockway.

Andrew Turnell  Signs of Safety Co-Creator. Elia Founder, CEO (2019–2020) and Board Member

Andrew Turnell
Signs of Safety Co-Creator. Elia Founder,
CEO (2019–2020) and Board Member

Joke Wiggerink  Board Member and Executive Director   Joke will take over from Andrew Turnell as CEO of Elia, from July 2020

Joke Wiggerink
Board Member and Executive Director
Joke will take over from Andrew Turnell as CEO of Elia, from July 2020

Adam Brockway  Board Member and Executive Director

Adam Brockway
Board Member and Executive Director

Andrew Turnell founded Elia to ensure Signs of Safety has a home long into the future. In early 2020, Joke Wiggerink will take over from Andrew as CEO. In mid-2020, the membership will come together and vote in the first membership-elected board, completing Andrew’s handover of Signs of Safety to Elia and the Signs of Safety Community that makes up its members.