Safety & Well-Being Clinic
“Safety planning within the Signs of Safety approach is a proactive, structured and monitored process that provides parents and caregivers with a genuine opportunity to demonstrate that they can provide care for their children in ways that satisfy the statutory agency.” (Signs of Safety Briefing Paper v3.0, Turnell & Murphy 2014)
Whether a family’s involvement with social services is voluntary or mandated, our Safety Clinic provides families with a safe, honest and respectful environment for safety planning. Within the Signs of Safety approach, safety is defined as ‘strengths demonstrated as a protection over time’. (Boffa and Podesta, 2004.) Utilizing the Signs of Safety approach, our therapists work collaboratively with the family, family supports and social services professionals to create real-life safety plans that demonstrate lasting safety and well-being for children, including:
- Preparation: creation and definition of the safety network, expectations, structure and roles
- Building working relationships with the safety network: honest and respectful communication between all collaborators
- Straight-forward description of concerns: clear, consistent, practical language that resonates with the entire network and the children
- Safety goals: establish clear behavioral goals that, over time, demonstrate lasting safety and well-being of the children
- Three Houses: honor the voice of the child, capturing their worries and hopes
- Safety House: visually engage children in the safety planning process (Parker, 2009)
- Words and Pictures: A clear, consistent explanation for children and their network to describe the concerns and safety plan (Turnell & Essex, 2006)
Through our Safety & Well-Being Clinic, we offer the following services:
Court-mandated and voluntary safety planning
The Safety & Well-Being Clinic guides families through effective safety planning. Our work is grounded in the Signs of Safety framework and flows out of the Signs of Safety assessment and planning map. Whether a family is voluntarily involved with social services or court-involved, we work with families and their networks to give them every opportunity to show that they can alleviate the county’s worries and keep their child(ren) safe for the long term.
Family conference meeting facilitation & safety networks
A key factor in building safety for kids over the long haul is inviting significant family and friends to understand the worries and be a part of a plan. We work with families to involve trusted adults to help keep the child(ren) safe. We have staff that are certified to facilitate Family Group Conferences and Youth in Transition Conferences and can offer those services apart from the full safety planning process.
Evaluations and assessments
It’s important to understand the factors that are making it complicated for the child(ren) to be safe. We provide a mental and behavioral health assessment to further understand the factors that may be contributing to the county’s worries. The assessment will help guide goals. If someone in the family meets the criteria for a diagnosis, and those worries are contributing to the county’s worries, we’ll work with your insurance company to submit claims. Though our focus is on child safety, we seek to improve the safety and well-being of your whole family!
The most important aspect of Signs of Safety safety planning is that the plan is co-created with, and owned by, the family and an informed safety network. For this to happen the plan must be implemented, monitored and carefully refined over time. Ownership is deepened further as the details of the plan are made, and committed to, by the parents in front of their own children, kin and friends. These are not things that can be done in one or two meetings and a safety plan that will last certainly cannot be created by professionals deciding on the rules and then trying to impose them on the family. Above all, meaningful safety plans are created out of a sustained learning journey undertaken by the family together with the professionals focused on the most challenging question that can be asked in child protection: ‘What specifically do we need to see to be satisfied this child is safe?’” (Turnell & Murphy, 2014)
I am a parent
Dear interested parent,
We recognize this may be one of the most difficult times in your life. Working with child protection services and the other agencies involved can often be complicated, intimidating and confusing. Our Safety and Well-Being Clinic is a program specifically designed to address the concerns of social services and to give you every opportunity to demonstrate the safety and well-being of your children. We’ll work with you and the social service agency to clearly define the worries and the goals. These goals will be the vision that will help guide our work together.
Our primary goal is the safety and well-being of your children. Our work with you is based on a framework called Signs of Safety. We work collaboratively with the social service agency, other agencies involved, your family, and your supports to identify the things you already do to keep your kids safe and build on those strengths to create confidence for future safety. For more information about this framework visit www.signsofsafety.net.
SafeGenerations consults directly with one of the co-founders of Signs of Safety, Dr. Turnell.
Click here to download the Brochure for Families.
I am a social worker
Dear social worker,
Our job is to help your job become clearer, simpler, and less time-intensive. Through our Safety & Well-Being Clinic we partner with you and the family to lead the safety planning process. We’ll collaborate with you and the family to define the Harm, Danger, Strengths, Existing Safety and Goals, facilitate safety network meetings, work with the children and keep a risk assessment map updated to track the process. We invite you to be a part of the process as often as you’d like. However, you aren’t required to be at all the meetings with the family. Are you interested in referring a family to the Safety & Well-Being Clinic?
Refer a family to the Safety & Well-Being Clinic. To start the process, download and fax us a Safety and Well-Being Clinic Referral Form
For a more in depth look at the process download the Safety and Well-Being Brochure for Professionals