1130. Safety Plan

Approval: Connie Lambert-Eckel, Acting Assistant Secretary

Original Date: 

Revised Date: October 31, 2017

Policy Review:   October 1, 2021


Purpose

A safety plan is a written agreement between the family and Children’s Administration (CA) that identifies how safety threats to a child will be immediately controlled and managed in the child’s home. Safety plans are effective as long a threat to a child’s safety exists and the caregiver’s protective capacities are insufficient to protect the child.

Scope

This policy applies to CA staff.

Laws

RCW 26.44.195  Negligent treatment or maltreatment, offer services, evidence of substance abuse, in-home services, initiation of dependency proceedings

RCW 26.44.030  Reports, duty and authority to make, duty of receiving agency, duty to notify, case planning and consultation, penalty for unauthorized exchange of information, filing dependency petitions, investigations, interviews of children, records, risk assessment process

PL 105-89  Adoption Safe Family Act

Policy

  1. Safety plans will be developed to:
    1. Control or manage threats to a child's safety;
    2. Have an immediate effect; and
    3. Include actions that immediately address the safety threats.
  2. Safety plans must be:
    1. Developed with participants that are suitable, reliable and that can provide a greater level of protection for the child than the parents.
    2. Reviewed and monitored twice monthly as long as the safety threat exists.
    3. Revised as threats emerge or are eliminated.

Procedures

  1. Caseworkers must:
    1. Develop a safety plan with the parents and other safety plan participants when a child is identified as unsafe and either:
      1. Remains in the home;
      2. Is returned home by a court order; or
      3. Is returning home when the safety threats can be managed or controlled in the home.
    2. Assess the suitability and reliability of potential safety plan participants not acting in their professional capacity (e.g. medical provider, therapist, counselor, etc.) by:
      1. Conducting a comprehensive interview that addresses identified safety threats; and
      2. Reviewing the individual’s information in FamLink and other CA electronic and hard files.
      3. Reviewing the results of a completed background check for the individual if they will have unsupervised access to a child.
    3. Follow the Family Team Decision Making policy when considering out-of-home placement or returning a child home.
    4. Include the following in the safety plan:
      1. Activities and tasks that control for safety threats or substitutes for diminished caregiver protective capacities.
      2. Use of the family's suitable, formal and informal supports in order to manage safety threats.
      3. Details for monitoring the safety plan.
      4. Supports, safety services and actions at critical times when safety threats exist.
      5. Formalize any protective action taken if applicable.
    5. DLR/CPS caseworkers must follow additional requirements when a safety plan is necessary per 2335 DLR/CPS Use of Safety Assessment and Safety Planning Tools policy for DLR/CPS.
      1. Any safety plan created in a licensed home for biological, adopted or guardianship children of a provider must be preapproved by the DLR CPS Program Manager or designee.
      2. Safety plans cannot be created in a licensed home for children in out-of-home care. If a safety threat is indicated, the child must be moved.
  2. Supervisors must:
    1. Review and approve all safety plans in FamLink within two business days of entry and every 30 days thereafter.
    2. Any safety plan developed as a result of a FamLink override must be staffed with the area administrator or designee.

Forms

Safety Plan form DSHS 15-259

Resources

Safety Analysis Guide

Protective Action Guide