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The Innovate Project

Home | Imagining Resistance


Professionals and parents/carers responsible for keeping children safe from harm face particular challenges when those children enter adolescence and the harm they face comes from outside their homes, in the form of exploitation, serious violence, and peer-on-peer abuse. 

This event will introduce participants to findings from two research projects focused on better understanding both professional responses to, and young people’s experiences of, extra-familial risk and harm.  

These two projects, the Innovate Project and Imagining Resistance, led by the University of Sussex, illuminate some of the key challenges facing professionals working within a system that is not well-designed to address extra-familial harm.

They also identify possibilities for re-thinking young people’s experiences of harm (and the system responses to them) in ways that facilitate: holding - rather than avoiding- risk; reframing acts of resistance as signs of health, strength, and capability; and re-designing system responses that foreground young people’s well-being and flourishing.  

Participants will have an opportunity to hear about these findings and consider 

  • how they resonate with their experiences of working with young people and/or their parents/carers and families affected by extra-familial harm 
  • the practical changes required within practice systems and structures to facilitate safer environments for young people to grow and flourish within 


Kristine Langhoff, Professor of Social Work, University of Sussex 

Kristi Langhoff is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Sussex. Her research focusses on understanding young people’s experiences of, and safeguarding responses to, extra-familial harm. Current research projects include work exploring creative, participatory approaches to working with young people experiencing sexual and interpersonal violence, and research on trauma-informed practices and system responses for survivors of abuse and violence. 


The session is aimed at social workers, managers, carers, parents and researchers and anyone interested in understanding more about safeguarding responses to extra familial harm.

For social workers, reflection on this session may contribute to your continuing professional development (CPD).

Members can watch recordings of previous Learning from Research webinars here