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Key messages

  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of risk and protective factors for the child, the parent and the alleged abuser before considering if safety planning is appropriate.
  • Take time to have conversations with children, parents and the alleged abuser. Do not overload them with too many questions - imagine how hard it would be to be in their shoes.
  • The immediate safety plan and subsequent longer term safety plan must address the details of daily life for the child and family, and known or suspected manipulation and coercion tactics used by the alleged abuser.
  • It is not sufficient to say that the alleged abuser must be supervised with the children. Involve other people who, through the development of a well-functioning safety and support network, are:
    • worried about the child
    • capable of supporting the parent and child
    • capable of supervising the alleged abuser\
    • apable of intervening if necessary if the safety plan becomes insufficient or breaks down.
      (Refer to the practice guide Safety and support networks and high intensity responses.)
  • Ensure actions are in place to monitor and review the immediate safety plan as well as the longer term safety plan.


The term ‘alleged abuser’ is used when the abuser is an adult over the age of 18 years. It is not used for a child under the age of 18 years who displays harmful sexual behaviours.

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