Writing Up the Safety Plan
Define the issue or problem. Be precise and clear with the definition.
ex. Max inappropriately touches himself while watching television in the family room. This occurs daily.
ex. Sally leaves the home whenever Mom turns her back.
Be clear about who you need to protect.
- the child
- other children
- ex. Max's behavior is inappropriate for the other children and family members in the home.
ex. Sally could become lost or injured in the street.
Pinpoint when the behavior occurs, if possible and predictable.
- When bedroom doors are shut while others are in the room.
- Left unsupervised.
- When told no or when limits are set.
- Before/after visitation with family
- While doing mindless activities.
- At night.
Determine who is involved in the safety plan.
Determine which adult is doing what action.
Remember to share the plan with all caregivers, including short term babysitters.
ex. Mom or Dad will redirect Max by giving him a stress ball whenever he starts to inappropriately touch himself while watching television.
- ex. Dad will supervise Sally while Mom cooks dinner.
Other Ideas for safety plans:
- Portable door alarms
- House alarm systems
- Baby gates
- Locate locks high on doors that lead to the outside or basement. Never place locks on the outside of bedrooms (to lock children in).
- Direct line-of-site supervision
- Discipline ideas/techniques to work on issues
- No shut doors while playing with friends or siblings
- No 1-on-1 time with friends or siblings
- No pets in bedrooms or bathrooms
- Never alone with pets
- No roommates
- Opposite sex parent never left alone with child
- No overnight stay with friends
- Secret location of matches and lighters
- Parent never alone during bath time or tucking in at bedtime
- Seek help from a therapist or other professional
Set a time limit for the safety plan.
- How long will your plan be in place?
How often will you reassess your plan?
What change are you looking for within the child or behavior?
What if the safety plan fails?
If your preventative measures don't work, have a list of crisis numbers to call.
- Consider a therapist or close friends/family to be on this list.
- Be prepared to report the incident to the proper case workers or other authorities if the offense is severe enough.
- If the child's behavior is a crime against another person or property, you may have to call the police.
Re-evaluate and ask yourself some questions.
- How did your plan succeed/fail?
- What worked?
- What can you do better tomorrow?
- What did you overlook?