Presentation on theme: "CHILD WELFARE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SAFETY PLANNING"— Presentation transcript:
1CHILD WELFARE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SAFETY PLANNING Theresa CostelloShellie TaggartNational Resource Center for Child Protective ServicesWebinar September 14, 2012
2CPS FOCUS: SAFETY DV FOCUS: SAFETY Safety is the primary basis for intervention throughout the life of the caseSafety is the primary basis for efforts with the non-offending parent (adult victim of DV) and childrenObjective is to eliminate, reduce, or effectively manage impending danger threats by enhancing caregiver protective capacityBest way to create safety for children is to help the NOP and children safe togetherChildren are the focus of the safety planNon-offending parent is the focus of the safety plan, plus her children
3CPS FOCUS: SAFETY DV FOCUS: SAFETY Vulnerable children are safe when there are no threats of danger within the family . . .. . . or when the parents possess sufficient protective capacity to manage any threats.Children are either safe or unsafe.Threats of danger to children and the NOP are from the DV offender. Reducing or eliminating threat requires work with him and the NOP.Signs of Safety: Safety is the presence of observable acts of protection by caregivers, demonstrated over time.NOP’s behaviors reflect the context of violence in which she lives. Her action or inaction must be considered/assessed in that context.Children and their NOP may be more or less safe over time.
4FOCUS ON SAFETY: CPS AND DV Services are not a proxy for safety: safety plan and case/treatment plan are related but different.Safety is created by caregivers and/or their networks of support (including CPS when needed).Safety intervention should be least intrusive plan possible.Safety plans must be dynamic and reflect changing circumstances. If one part doesn’t work, don’t throw out the whole plan—refine it.
5Goal: SAFETY How do we get there in DV practice? Effective engagement Plan WITH the NOPAccurate assessment of danger and risk to childrenBuild on prior acts of protectionAssess impact of prior interventionsBuild her support systemHold DV offender responsible and get him helpSafety planning throughout the case
6CPS Intervention Initial Assessment: Problem Identification CPS involved because children are unsafe due to impending danger threats and diminished caregiver protective capacities.What specific harm to children has resulted from DV or is likely to result from DV in near future? What evidence do we have of this harm?How dangerous is the DV offender? How dangerous is the situation?
7Perez Family: Harm to children Physical:Mr. Perez pushed Fernando and knocked him downMr. Perez squeezed Fernando’s arms in the past hard enough to bruise himEmotional:Fernando said he was scared of what might happen to his momNeed to know more about Sofia
8Perez Family: Indicators of dangerousness To Julia Perez:Mr. Perez drinking, combined with extreme jealousyMr. Perez slapped, pinched and bit Mrs. PerezViolence is escalating (“the worst it’s ever been”)To children:Harm to Fernando (previous slide)
9CPS Intervention Safety Management: Assuring Protection Safety plans control impending danger threats and substitute for insufficient caregiver protective capacities.What have NOP and other adults done to keep children safe? How effective has this been? How could it be made more effective?How is the context of DV affecting the ability of NOP to participate in creating safety?What is the DV offender willing to do in the short term to assure safety? What is the NOP willing and able to do?
10Perez Family: Prior Safety Planning by Mrs. Perez Told Fernando to go into the other room and turn on the TV (he did)Told Fernando to do what his father said (he did)Told Fernando to call 911 if scared (he did)Told Fernando NOT to try to protect her (this part didn’t work completely--what could he have done instead?)“Insufficient caregiver capacity”? Is a child welfare safety plan needed? Is a DV safety plan needed?
11Immediate, short term safety What could Mr. Perez do?What has he done in the past? Ever stopped drinking? Ever dealt with his jealousy differently? Ever felt like hurting his partner but didn’t? How could he do more of that?Will Mr. Perez leave the home temporarily? Will he agree to Titi Jalisa staying with them? What other ideas does he have about how CPS can feel confident about safety?
12Immediate, short term safety Mrs. Perez: What other ideas does she have? How worried is she about Fernando and Sofia’s safety?Titi Jalisa: Is she willing to stay there? How long?Other relatives: How can they support safety for Fernando and Sofia on a day-to-day basis? (i.e. can the kids and/or their mom come to stay overnight if Mr. Perez is drinking?; will they pick kids up in the middle of the night if needed; will his brother stop him from going home, or come get him?)
13CPS Intervention Family Assessment: What Must Change Specific caregiver capacity behavior that must be enhanced to assure child protection/safety is the focus of the case plan and treatment.What do we need to see from the DV offender to feel confident about children’s safety? What would that look like, specifically? How will we know?What does the NOP think will help? What has she tried in the past, and with what result? Who has helped her the most?Do complicating factors (substance abuse, trauma, depression, poverty) need to be addressed?
14Perez FamilyMr. Perez:Learn new ways of dealing with jealousy/stress/control: attend Batterer Intervention (monitored by court or CPS)Learn co-parenting skills (stop undermining her parenting): parenting class, or do more of prior healthy parenting strategiesSubstance abuse treatmentWork with CPSMrs. Perez: Continue to work with CPS; offer her DV services; ask her to help CPS understand changes in danger/risk as plan progresses; help build support within the family and elsewhere where natural supports exist
15CPS Intervention Case Plans: Influencing Change Treatment reinforces enhancement of caregiver protective capacities associated with impending danger.Batterer intervention, responsible fatherhood programs, substance abuse or MH services.DV advocacy for empowerment, resources and safety.Case Plans: Measuring ProgressSufficiency of caregiver protective capacity behavior is measured—must protect against threats to child safety and assure a safe home.Focus on DV Offender changes.
16Safety Plan --Assess safety: sufficient, feasible, sustainable? Gather informationSafety Plan --Assess safety: sufficient, feasible, sustainable?Least restrictive given circumstances? Reunify?Treatment Plan-- Assess needs and progress: reduced threat, developed capacity? Parents keep child safe without support? (close case?)
17Six Questions/Six Categories Nature of maltreatment: frequency and severity of DV; impact on childrenCircumstances of maltreatment: pattern of offender behaviors; degree of isolation; help-seeking of NOP; system responsiveness; available support/resourcesChild’s functioning: school, peer relationships; trauma; resiliency; opportunities for safety and healing4. Parental discipline: differentiate between NOP and DV offender; consider DV contextOverall parenting practices: bonding; routines; predictability; appropriate responses6. Parental life management skills: differentiate between NOP and DV offender; consider DV context (coercion/control, impact on NOP choices)
18Assessing Safety Vocabulary of assessment Threat of DangerSigns of SafetyVulnerable ChildProtective CapacitiesPrior acts of protection/help-seekingDV offender demonstrated desire to change“Safe child”Vocabulary of assessment(Consider context of violence/coercive control)
19Safety (Danger) versus Risk Safety concerned about imminence and severe consequences due to things being out of control(“out of control” language difficult in DV/CPS collaborations—DV is a choice, and within the control of the DV offender)Risk broad concept regarding whether something might occur if there is not intervention; risk may be low, moderate, high.the critical question is whether or not the child/NOP is/are safe
20Vocabulary: Safe and Unsafe Child “Vulnerable” children are safe when there are no “threats of danger” within the family or home OR when the caregivers possess sufficient “protective capacity” to manage or control any threats.Unsafe childChildren are unsafe when they are “vulnerable,” there are “threats of danger” within the family or home AND the caregivers have insufficient “protective capacities” to manage or control the threats, making outside intervention necessary.
21Vocabulary: Threats of Danger A specific family situation or behavior, emotion, motive, perception or capacity of a family member: observable, out of control, immediate, severe consequences Assess DV offender pattern of behavior (severity, frequency), isolation of NOP and children, use of weapons, offender use of drugs of alcohol, obsessive jealousy, stalking behaviors, recent instability, depression, threats of suicide or homicide, escalation, NOP is planning to leave
22Present and Impending Danger Present danger means immediate, significant and clearly observable severe harm or threat of severe harm is occurring to a child in the present requiring immediate protective services response.Impending danger means a state of danger in which family behaviors, attitudes, motives, emotions and/or situations pose a threat which may not be currently active but can be anticipated to have severe effects in a child at any time
23Vocabulary: Vulnerability Vulnerability: degree of dependence on others for protection and careAssess vulnerability in light of specific threats in this familyHow frequent and severe is the violence?Who does the DV offender target for violence/abuse?How have children been used by DV offender?How has he undermined the relationship between the NOP and children?Has a child attempted to intervene? What was the response of caregivers?
24Obvious vulnerabilities Age 0-6Physical, developmental disabilities or delaysPoor health, physical capacityInability to articulate danger
25Less Obvious Vulnerabilities Isolated from communityAs a specific tactic of control? Degree of isolation?Cannot anticipate or judge presence of dangerConsciously or unknowingly provokes dangerDV offender is the person responsible for his behaviorEmotionally vulnerableTrauma, degree of resilienceImpact of prior maltreatment or multiple exposuresAttachment (enmeshment), fear, insecurity re parent
26Perez FamilyThreat of danger posed by Mr. Perez when he assaults his wifeHarsh parenting and undermining of Mrs. Perez as parent--part of pattern of controlVulnerability of children:Sofia due to age and developmental delays, BUT he treats her “like a princess”Fernando may be vulnerable due to age and worries about his mom, BUT also able to follow (for the most part) a safety plan
27Vocabulary: Protective Capacities Personal characteristics that indicate protective vigilance, preparation and power to protect.ASK NOP: What have you tried to protect the children and yourself when DV is occurring? What was the effect? What else have you thought about trying?ASK DV OFFENDER: Has there ever been a time when you felt like (being violent) but didn’t? What was going on then/what stopped you? How can you do more of that in the future?
28Protective capacities/factors Perez FamilyProtective capacities/factorsMrs. Perez actively safety plans with FernandoExtended family support (need specifics)Early Intervention for Sofia; soccer for FernandoMr. Perez parented with some success when Mrs. Perez unable to do so because of post-partum depression
29Child welfare safety plans actions and services that will temporarily substitute for lacking parental protective capacity to control the threat of dangerChild welfare safety plans
30Domestic violence safety plans in child welfare actions, resources and assistance from systems that will help the NOP and children be safe togetherDomestic violence safety plans in child welfare
31In home safety planSafety PlanscombinationOut of home safety plan
32Child welfare safety plan must Immediately control or manage threat of dangerBe made up of components (people and services) accessible when threat will be presentDescribe concrete, action oriented activities and tasks assigned to identified peopleNot rely on parental promises to control what has been assessed as out of control
33In-home safety plan?With threats of danger clearly identified by defined criteria it becomes easier to assess whether agency can create a plan with caregivers to control them within the child’s homeManaging crisesProviding social supportSeparating parent and child when necessary for safetyProviding resources
34Domestic violence safety plans in child welfare must Address specific harm to children and NOP from DVInclude children in age-appropriate waysAddress potential danger posed by CPS interventionBuild on NOP knowledge of DV offender and what will increase the threat of danger from himInclude people and services that will be accessible when threat is presentDescribe concrete, action oriented activities and tasks agreed upon by identified people
35Possible in-home child safety plan Perez FamilyPossible in-home child safety planMr. Perez will use xxx positive parenting practices with Fernando (that he has used in past successfully)Titi Jalisa will stay with the family for xxx weeks (consider work schedule, etc when planning details)Mrs. Perez, Titi Jalisa and Fernando will practice what to do if Mr. Perez is drinking/becomes violent (leave and go to xxx, call Mr. Perez’ brother to come get him until he is sober, call police, etc)If Mr. Perez drinks or becomes violent, Fernando will stay in his room until his mom or Titi Jalisa tells him what to do; can also call the police again if he feels scared
36Possible DV safety plan: all CW plan items PLUS Perez FamilyPossible DV safety plan: all CW plan items PLUSMrs. Perez may call the DV hotline to talk about personal safety, options for additional safety, or emotional supportMrs. Perez may call her (friend, sister, etc) to talk about her worries and what support she needsCW worker will provide xxx resources to Mrs. Perez (ask her what she needs)CW worker will check in with Mrs. Perez every xxx days about any changes in level of dangerCW worker will stay in contact with Mr. Perez every xxx days to see if he is getting help (BI program, etc)
37Is the plan Sufficient? Feasible? Sustainable? Are aware, committed and reliable people involved?Is the DV offender engaged and being held responsible?Is the NOP’s safety a focus as well as children?Are safety supports from systems/providers available as often and for duration needed?Is plan dynamically monitored and adjusted to reflect changing circumstances?
38Out of home placement/safety plan in DV situations ONLY WHEN Children are in danger from DV offenderAdult caregivers are unwilling (despite safe and supportive interventions) or unable (due to offender level of violence) to provide safety for childrenChildren are not able to participate in keeping themselves safeAn in-home safety plan is not sufficient, feasible and sustainableMUST SAFETY PLAN WITH NOP
39Reasonable Efforts?If an in-home safety plan would be sufficient, and the agency fails to consider or implement one, then the agency has failed to provide reasonable efforts to prevent removal (or to return child home).
40Safety Plan substituting for compromised Protective Capacity Key ConceptThreat of Danger+Vulnerable childSafety Plan substituting for compromised Protective Capacity=“safe child”
41“CASE PLAN” §475 [42 USC 675] (“The ASFA”) “A plan assuring that the child receives safe and proper care…”Safety Plan“and that the services are provided to the parents, child and foster parents in order to improve conditions in the parent’s home, to facilitate return of the child to his own home.” Treatment PlanKeeping track of two plans
42For more information/resources Theresa CostelloShellie Taggart