Florida Administrative Code defines “Safety Plan” as the specific course of action necessary to control threats of serious harm or supplement a family’s protective capacities implemented immediately when a family’s protective capacities are not sufficient to manage immediate or serious harm threats.”
A safety plan addresses a specific parent behavior, emotion or condition that results in a child being unsafe. A safety plan controls and manages danger threats to a child when a parent/legal guardian is unavailable, unable, or unwilling to protect their child. A safety plan will be in effect as long as a case remains open and parents/legal guardians do not have the protective capacity necessary to protect the child from identified danger threats.
Safety planning is an ongoing process, not an event and should be developed jointly between the case manager and the family. The child welfare professional responsible for the case has primary responsibility for developing, monitoring and managing the safety plan. As individual and family circumstances change, safety plans require updates based on the changes.
In order to have confidence in the sufficiency of the safety plan we must analyze danger threats, family functioning, and family and community resources. This depends on having collected sufficient, pertinent, relevant information. The intention is to arrive at a decision regarding the most appropriate and least restrictive means for controlling and managing identified danger threats and therefore assuring child safety.
The child welfare professional creating, monitoring or modifying the safety plan will determine that:
· The safety plan controls the behavior emotion or condition that results in the child being unsafe
· The effect of a safety plan is immediate, and/or continues to protect the child every day
· The safety plan describes each specific action necessary to keep the child safe, including:
Ø The person responsible for each specific action
Ø Resources or people who will help with each action
Ø The frequency of the action, including times and days of the week
Ø The person responsible for monitoring each action is occurring as planned
· The safety plan may be exclusively and in-home, an out-of-home, or a combination of both
· The child welfare professional will develop separate safety plans with the perpetrator of domestic violence and the parent/legal guardian who is a survivor of domestic violence.
· The safety plan will not include promissory commitments by the parent/legal guardian who is currently not able to protect the child. Example of INAPPROPRIATE safety plan actions include, but are not limited to:
Ø Mom will not spank
Ø Parents will remain sober
Ø Mom will file an injunction and will not let the batterer back in the home
Ø Dad will not use drugs
All safety plans must be documented in FSFN by the child welfare professional.