What about Safety?
"Actions of protection by a caregiver, specifically related to the current harm and danger, demonstrated over time."
If we don’t ask about the history of protection as it relates to the current danger, we only know part of the story. Often caregivers take steps to protect children that may not be enough to provide safety and well being, but could be utilized as a starting point to work from with the family. Key questions to ask families as you work with them are:
What steps have you taken in the past to protect your child(ren) from these dangers? What steps are you taking now?
What are you willing to do going forward?
As the worker, consider the question:
What actions has the family taken in the past to keep the children safe, in relation to the danger?
Statements of existing safety describe times when the parents/caregivers have taken actions or made decisions that led to the children being safe in relation to specific child welfare related dangers. Statements need to be specific and describe the actions/behaviors by parents (or other caregivers) that resulted in safety for children
Erica told her case worker that a few weeks her boyfriend was coming over and she knew that they would be partying with friends and that alcohol and drugs would be involved. Erika called her sister Linda and arranged for the children to sleep over at her house so that the children would not be left unsupervised as they had been last time. Her case worker spoke with Linda who confirmed that this happened and gave details about the time she spent with the children as well as when Erica picked them up and her ability to care for them at that time.