Planning for safety with at-risk families: resource guide for workers in intensive home-based family support programs

Community-based family services Family services Families Australia

Developing and implementing a meaningful safety plan is a collaborative process undertaken by the worker and family together to address immediate safety issues and set goals for the intervention. This resource guide describes practical tips to assist family support workers develop and implement a safety plan with their clients, and draws upon the principles from the Signs of Safety practice framework (Department for Child Protection, 2011; Turnell, 2012) and evidence based practices for working with families at risk of abuse and neglect (De Panfillis, 2006).

Developing a meaningful safety plan is a collaborative process undertaken by the family and worker together and focuses on a fundamental question: what needs to happen to ensure the children will be safe in their own family?

The goal of intensive home-based support programs for vulnerable high-risk families is ensuring that children stay safe and remain within their family. Intensive home based family support programs aim to reduce re-notification or re-substantiation risk, close the case without court involvement, prevent the removal of children into alternative care, or facilitate family reunification. These programs are usually of long term duration (up to 12 months) and require frequent weekly worker contact with families.

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