Circuit 7 Department of Children and Families. Safety Planning. What About Safety Plans??? Let’s think about it. Do all safety plans have the same function or purpose? Once a safety plan is put in place, is that all that is needed for a CPI to close the case? What about services?
Safety plans not only made between a parent/caregiver and the CPI or Case Manager.
Safety plans are made between the worker and the supervisor, the worker and safeguards, and the worker and providers.
Sometimes, the parents have made safety plans with others before any contact is made with them!
Safety Planning is far from an exact science.
No one is asking you to predict the future.
- Infants are most likely to be killed by their mother during the first week of life but are more likely to be killed by a male thereafter.
More than 2.9 MILLION reports of alleged maltreatment involving children were made to Child Protective Services agencies in 2003
- That means child abuse was reported, on average, every 10 seconds.
Child Protective Services across the country found an estimated 896,000 children to be victims of maltreatment (abuse or neglect) in 2004
- A safety plan made in the first days of a contact with the family may not be appropriate a month later.
If the parent makes a safety plan the child to stay with a grandparent while the parent cleans the borderline hazardous home, how long should that safety plan be in effect?
If that safety plan was left in effect for two weeks or a month, do you think the family would continue to abide by it? What should happen?
- A safety plan needs to include the WHO, WHAT, WHY, and HOW
- A safety plan cannot require actions that are not likely to be implemented
Address the Problem
- A safety plan should address the risk or harm.
“The mother will not use any illegal or unprescribed substances. The mother will submit to a drug test within 24 hours and to a substance abuse assessment within 72 hours and comply with all recommendations. The mother and child will continue to live with the maternal grandmother until the mother has successfully completed treatment. The maternal grandmother will contact the Department if she suspects the mother is using drugs. The mother will submit to random drug testing.”
“The mother will not use drugs. The maternal grandmother will contact the Department if the mother uses drugs.”
“The mother will not use drugs around the child.”
“The parents will not use excessive corporal punishment while the investigation is on-going.”
- As many as it takes.
- There could be:
A family Safety Plan,
A victim’s Safety Plan,
A perpetrator’s Safety Plan,
A child’s Safety Plan,
The safeguard’s Safety Plan, and
The worker’s Safety Plan
If risk has been established, why not just remove the child?
IT IS TRAUMATIC FOR A CHILD TO BE REMOVED FROM HIS/HER PARENT – EVEN IF MALTREATMENT IS OCCURRING!
Florida Statutes 39.001(1)(b)(3) states: “The prevention and intervention should intrude as little as possible into the life of the family, be focused on clearly defined objectives, and take the most parsimonious path to remedy a family’s problems.”
Florida Statutes 39.001(1)(f) states: “To preserve and strengthen the child’s family ties whenever possible, removing the child from parental custody only when his or her welfare cannot be adequately safeguarded without such removal.
Remember: We all have experience with safety planning!