This article provides a discussion of the theoretical basis underpinning safety and risk
assessment in child protection, and further describes the empirical research process involved
in the development of safety and risk assessment tools and training materials for social workers
in the South African child protection field. The research process is described according to the
steps of intervention research. The study confirms a need for uniform safety and risk assessment
tools and procedures in social work practice and highlights the critical role of collaboration
between researchers and practitioners to enhance social service delivery in the protection of
children at risk.