It could be for an intense situation with a child displaying sexual maladaptive behaviors or maybe a child acting out with volatile anger and you are needing to protect other children in your home. It might be a very basic plan for protecting children who have experienced trauma but aren’t displaying intense behaviors themselves. While the details and needs will vary, developing safety plans are a common need for many foster and adoptive families and we are talking about it today on the Honestly Adoption Podcast.
In today’s episode you will get a chance to listen to a replay of a live training that our host, Mike Berry, recently gave at Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit (CAFO) in 2018. It may not be something you are looking forward to, but developing and maintaining a safety plan doesn’t have to be a negative experience. Listen in for some tips and encouragement for getting this job done well.
Notes and Quotes:
Basics of Creating a Safety Plan
- Breathe! Don’t Panic. The word “safety plan” can trigger your own big emotions and be traumatic for you.
- Begin with Safety First. Safety trumps all other parenting considerations (like connection or correction).
- Be Proactive.
- Be Detailed.
- Communicate Clearly. Share the plan with everyone who needs to know. Repeat.
- Use it Consistently.
Creating a Safety Plan in a Volatile Environment (when a child is volatile)
or when you are being investigated.
- Needing to create a safety plan sounds much worse than it actually is.
- Don’t let your emotions cripple you. Take action now.
- Find an outlet to vent, rant, and cry and to support you.
- Remember that the authorities all have your child’s best interest in mind. They are doing their jobs.
- Save texts and emails. Take notes. Be detailed about everything.
- Possibly make a written report daily for your own records.
Ideas to Include in Your Plan:
- Separate genders on separate floors (or in separate zones).
- Give children their own spaces that are off limits to other children.
- Buy cheap alarms for doors to notify you of doors opening and closing.
- Post the plan on the wall so everyone can see it.
- Rearrange your house so children have to pass by you to get to another child within your home.
- Install wireless camera systems that connect to your phone.
- Make a code word, “safety plan” to use with other kids who then know what to do when another child is volatile.
- (example: take younger kids to bedroom, lock the door, order pizza, turn on a movie)
Resources and Links:
[reminder]We would love to hear what you’ve included in your own safety plans, or let us know if you have more questions about how to create and what to include in your plan. [/reminder]