One Front Door FAQs

What is One Front Door (OFD)?

One Front Door is an ambitious intervention designed to provide effective help for whole families when a safeguarding concern is raised for one or more family member. Once implemented and refined, we envision One Front Door revolutionising local systems so that key safeguarding agencies make the right links, join the dots quicker and initiate processes and responses which should result in better, more holistic and timelier support.   

It builds on our risk-led approach and uses a multi-agency team from services that already exist, to make sure that all those support services are aware of any history involving police, mental health or physical health that is relevant to the care of a vulnerable person.


What will OFD achieve?

With support services better connected, we should see:

  • More effective risk assessments that help professionals in the local area to identify the right support and interventions
  • Earlier opportunities to identify safeguarding risks for adults and children
  • Earlier identification of perpetrators of abuse and better management of people who cause harm and commit criminal offences
  • A quicker, more co-ordinated way of processing a vulnerable person through the safeguarding system that doesn’t exhaust them as they try to access help


What does OFD look like?

We want to improve and integrate processes that already exist so that when a safeguarding concern is identified for any family member, they are referred to the OFD team. That team, made up of professionals from multiple support services, will then check relevant information on the client and their family. This should give the OFD team a good understanding of the challenges that their client may face. They can then assess the vulnerability of each family member and support them to take the necessary steps to keep them safe.


Who is involved in OFD?

Local partners: One Front Door will be piloted in seven sites across the UK. The local authority at each site will work with a member of SafeLives Knowledge Hub Team to establish the OFD team in their area.

Support professionals: Local authority representatives, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (Idvas) together with staff from adult safeguarding, children’s services, police, local refuges, hospitals and mental health services.

SafeLives Staff: SafeLives staff will be involved in the project management, development and promotion of the One Front Door. This will include Knowledge Hub team members who will work on site with the seven local authorities in the pilot areas.


Why are local councils and SafeLives putting resources into OFD?

Our research shows that to be effective and consistent when supporting domestic violence victims we need a system that takes into account the numerous other obstacles they face when they experience domestic abuse and when they seek help. Family members and their vulnerabilities interconnect. Where there are vulnerable adults, there may be vulnerable children and older people. People do not operate in silos, and neither should we.


How will you know if OFD is a success?

We will look at several elements of evaluation but the three main ones are:

  1. The number of families and/or cases that have been processed through the safeguarding system at the same time. For this, we will look at a set of quantitative data that outlines how many cases and families support services are working with. Because we aim to identify safeguarding concerns earlier through OFD, we expect this number to be high.

  2. How collaboratively multi agency teams are working to safeguard all children and those experiencing domestic abuse. To assess this, we will use a combination of surveys and focus groups to understand how the teams have changed their ways of working and whether that has helped process cases with less stress to the people seeking support and relying on an effective system.

  3. The speed of information sharing and how reflective it is of the risks and needs of individuals and families in the safeguarding system. This will need a combination of quantitative and qualitative data. We will look at the time it takes to carry out risk assessments, how long before a case is discussed at a multi-agency meeting and how quickly action can be taken after that. We will also need to talk to staff making referrals to the OFD team and take into account their view of the system.


What is the future for OFD?

If the intervention is successful and we see good results in the evaluation points above, we hope to refine the model so that it can be recreated in different areas. We hope that by 2020 we will be able to launch OFD in more sites.


Where does OFD funding come from?

The pilot stage of OFD in our seven sites has been made possible through a donation of £1m from the Government's Tampon Tax Fund.  Women’s Aid also received £1m from the same fund and will be testing their interventions as part of the Sooner the Better programme in different locations across England. 

The additional staff needed to co-ordinate OFD are SafeLives staff who will work on site with the seven local authorities involved in the pilot.