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What Is a Safety Plan?

When to Use a Safety Plan Within Your Foster or Adoptive Home

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Definition: A safety plan is an organized system of rules and guidelines used to supervise and structure time and space, due to the behavior of one or more members of the family. A safety plan is for the safety and well-being of the members who are acting out as well as for the other members of the family, including pets and property.

How Do You Know if You Need a Safety Plan?

A safety plan may be exactly what your family needs when the following is occurring within your home.

  1. Sexual Acting Out
    • The child is openly masturbating in the family areas of the home.
    • The child is acting out with a family pet.
    • The child is acting out with dolls, stuffed animals, or other toys.
    • The child is acting out with siblings or other children in the family or neighborhood, this may include - sexualized talk or inappropriate touch.

  2. Anger Problems
    • The child is verbally abusive to family members.
    • The child is physically abusive to family members and/or pets.
    • The child destroys property when angry, which may result in harming the child or others.

  3. Escape Artist
    • A child leaves the house whenever an adult's back is turned.

    • The child gets up in the middle of the night, sleep walking, to eat, or just to explore.

  4. Fire Starter
    • The child has a history or known fascination with fire.

The safety plan is something that the family can create alone or with a professional such as a social worker or therapist. It is wise to share the safety plan with the professionals who are involved with the child's case. This lets the social workers and therapists know that you are ready and able to deal with the situation in a professional way.

Learn to create the safety plan and how to set it in motion.
Print off a handy worksheet to help with creating a safety plan.
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