Immediate safety plans
Immediate safety plans are developed when an immediate harm indicator has been identified when completing the SDM safety assessment tool. It is important to also assess acts of protection, strengths and resources to help determine whether an immediate safety plan is possible.
Work with the family and their safety and support network to create a plan that will provide safety for the child in the short-term. Immediate safety plans are to be reviewed at least every seven days. Monitoring these plans may sometimes be a daily occurrence, and network members can be called on to assist in the monitoring of the plan.
If the family do not have a safety and support network, this is the time to help them identify who may be able to help them. Network members could be extended family, friends and neighbours, carers, professionals and community members who care about the child and are able to work both with the family and Child Safety.
Tools such as genograms, eco-maps and Circles of Safety and Support Tool can assist practitioners to identify network members.
Long-term safety and support plans
Long-term safety and support plans are developed with the children, family and their safety and support network. Network members will support parents, children and young people to develop and maintain safety through case and safety planning.
The use of safety and support networks in the Child Safety context aims to build on and strengthen a child, young person, and their family’s natural networks. Safety and support plans provide clarity to all network members about their purpose, the known worries, goals and action steps as well as the non-negotiables and ‘what ifs’ which everyone should plan and have contingencies for.
Long-term safety and support plans can facilitate safe and effective reunification, family contact within a more natural setting and maintaining connections with family, community and culture.
For more information in relation to safety and support networks, refer to the practice guide Safety and support networks and high intensity responses.
For information to support long-term planning see the AIFS papers ‘Strengths of Australian Aboriginal cultural practices in family life and child rearing’ and ‘Supporting recovery in families affected by parental mental illness’.
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