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Safety and support networks are essential to permanency planning

Essential to permanency planning is the ability for parents to build safety and support networks. If a parent says they have no one to support them, or is unable to identify a support person, ask them to consider inviting one person to the next meeting or conversation. Reaching out to one person can be the start of building a support network. It is important to acknowledge that this may be threatening for some parents and highlight their isolation. They could also fear being rejected, if the person they ask isn’t willing to become involved. Support them to think broadly and to have courage to ask for help.

Practice prompt

Safety and support networks:

  • are built with a family through all casework
  • provide safety to a child as well as support to a family
  • are important in providing connection and belonging to children and families.

The following questions can assist a parent to think of someone they could ask to be part of their network:

  • Who are the people who care about you and your child?
  • Who understands what you are going through?
  • Who can you talk to when you are worried about something?
  • Who do you think could provide you with support?
  • Different people can help with different things – what are the different things you need and who can help?
  • Who do you think would understand what is happening?
  • Who do you think might be willing to become involved?

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