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SAFETY ORGANIZED PRACTICE FOUNDATIONAL INSTITUTE PARTICIPANT'S GUIDE 1632 Da Vinci Court, Davis, CA Phone: (530) Safety Organized Practice Foundational Institute Participant Guide Contents Content Page Introduction to SOP 3 SOP In brief 7 Learning Objectives 8 Contributors 11 Facilitated Process 12 Assessment with Families 14 Bringing a Trauma Lens to Child Welfare 22 Cultural Humility Principles 26 Cultural Humility in Safety Organized Practice 28 The Three Houses Tool 29 The Safety House Tool 32 Three Column Safety Map 36 Consultation and Information Sharing Framework 37 The Voice of SDM Assessment 51 Research Based Protective Factors 53 Ecomaps 55 Genograms 59 Family Team Meetings 63 Harm and Danger Statements, Safety Goals 67 Collaborative Planning and Action Steps 73 Family Safety Circles 76 Family Safety Networks 78 Documenting SOP in Case Files and CWS/CMS 80 References and Additional Resources 99 Safety Organized Practice (SOP) is a collaborative practice approach that emphasizes the importance of teamwork in child welfare. SOP aims to build and strengthen partnerships with the child welfare agency and within a family by involving their informal support networks of friends and family members. A central belief of SOP is that all families have strengths. SOP uses strategies and techniques that align with the belief that a child and his or her family are the central focus, and that the partnership between the agency and the family exists in an effort to find solutions that ensure safety, permanency, and well-being for children. Safety Organized Practice is informed by an integration of practices and approaches, including: Solution-focused practice 1 Signs of Safety 2 Structured Decision Making 3 Child and family engagement 4 Risk and safety assessment research Group Supervision and Interactional Supervision 5 Appreciative Inquiry 6 Motivational Interviewing 7 Consultation and Information Sharing Framework 8 Cultural Humility Trauma-Informed Practice 1 Berg, I.K. and De Jong, P (1996). Solution-building conversations: co-constructing a sense of competence with clients. Families in Society, pp ; de Shazer, S. (1985). Keys to solution in brief therapy. New York, NY: Norton; Saleebey, D. (Ed.). (1992). The strengths perspective in social work practice. New York: Longman. 2 Turnell, A. (2004). Relationship-grounded, safety-organised child protection practice: dreamtime or real-time option for child welfare? Protecting Children, 19(2): 14 25; Turnell, A. & Edwards, S. (1999). Signs of Safety: A safety and solution oriented approach to child protection casework. New York: WW Norton. 3 Children s Research Center (2008). Structured Decision Making: An evidence-based practice approach to human services. Madison: Author. 4 Parker, S. (2010). Family safety circles: Identifying people for their safety network. Perth, Australia: Aspirations Consultancy; Weld, N. (2008). The three houses tool: building safety and positive change. In M. Calder (Ed.) Contemporary risk assessment in safeguarding children. Lyme Regis: Russell House Publishing. 5 Lohrbach, S. (2008). Group supervision in child protection practice, Social Work Now, 40, pp Cooperrider and David, L Positive image, positive action: The affirmative basis of organizing. In S. Srivastva, D. L. Cooperrider and Associates (Eds.) Appreciative management and leadership: The power of positive thought and action in organizations. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 7 Miller, W.R., & Rollnick, S. (2012). Motivational Interviewing, (3rd ed.) New York: Guilford Press, Lohrbach, S. (1999). Child Protection Practice Framework Consultation and Information Sharing. Unpublished manuscript; Lohrbach, S., & Sawyer, R. (2003). Family Group Decision Making: a process reflecting partnership based practice, Protecting Children, 19(2): Objectives of Safety Organized Practice 1. Engagement: To create a shared focus to guide casework among all stakeholders (child, family, worker, supervisor, etc.) 2. Critical Thinking: To help these stakeholders consider complicated and ambiguous case information and sort it into meaningful categories that can inform next steps 3. Enhancing Safety: To provide a path for stakeholders to engage in rigorous, sustainable, on-the-ground child safety efforts Each of these objectives is detailed below with the associated practices involved. Safety Organized Practice Objective One: Engagement The engagement piece of SOP is fostered by using the following strategies: Solution-Focused Interviewing (SFT) Primarily originating with the work of Steve De Shazer and his wife Insoo Kim Berg at the Milwaukee Brief Therapy Treatment Center, SFT is an interviewing practice based on a simple idea with profound ramifications that what people pay attention to grows. It highlights the need for child welfare professionals to ask families about safety as rigorously as they do danger and provides a series of strategies ( exception questions, relationship questions ) to help do this. Strategies for Interviewing Children While children are the focus of any child welfare intervention and most professionals agree that obtaining children s perspectives is vital for child welfare work, selecting the correct approach can be a daunting task for even a seasoned professional. The temptation to make the work with children a superficial part of the process is great. SOP provides a series of practices, specifically that of the three houses and safety house, which allows children, in a developmentally appropriate way, to meaningfully contribute to both risk assessment and safety planning. Safety Organized Practice Objective Two: Critical Thinking Critical thinking requires the ability to assess any given situation by looking at the external data which is presented and subsequently how our assumptions and biases may impact our assessment. By doing this we can gain the greatest clarity possible about what is happening with a family. It is the ability, as noted child welfare scholar Eileen Munro has said, to admit that we might be wrong. 4 Safety mapping is a process of organizing all the information known about a family at any given time. It is a process that can be done by a family and a worker, a worker and a supervisor, or a worker alone. It provides some simple, easy to use, utilitarian definitions and a process that organizes the information, allowing increased clarity about the purpose for any particular child welfare intervention. Safety Organized Practice Objective Three: Enhancing Safety Part of the safety mapping process involves the development of harm/danger statements and safety goals. Once the safety mapping process is complete, child welfare professionals and the family will have enough information to begin safety planning with a family safety network. Danger statements are short, behaviorally based statements that in very clear, nonjudgmental language states: o What the caregiver actions were o What the impact was/is on the child o What the child welfare professionals are worried could happen in the future Such statements provide a clear rationale for the involvement of child welfare and are a foundation for making clear goals about the work. These deceptively simple statements take some time to construct, but once made can be shared with family members, community partners, legal staff and anyone interested in supporting the safety of the particular children involved in the case. Safety goals. Often in child welfare, goals are service driven rather than safety driven. A key element of SOP is use of simply written goals that clearly and unambiguously address the danger. These safety goals should achieve the following: o Address the danger statement o Be collaboratively created with the family members and if that s not possible, provide choices for the family o Be written in clear, everyday language o Describe the presence of new, observable behaviors or actions (particularly with the children) rather than simply the absence of old, problematic behavior 5 Safety planning, and family safety networks. The axiom that it takes a village to raise a child is never truer than in child welfare work when caregivers have been found to be a danger to their children. Drawing on much of the wisdom of the Family Group Conferencing (FGC) movement, SOP offers strategies for building a network of people around the child, communicating the danger statement to those in the network and enlisting their help in keeping the children safe (meeting the safety goal). The network is formed on the first day of case planning and supports the family through post permanency as defined by SDM. The cultivation of a safety network is not just for immediate safety, but actually is the vehicle to promote long-lasting change that will continue to be enforced long after child welfare s involvement ends. SOP makes the distinction between safety planning and service planning, noting that the culture of child welfare has been one of case management and service planning for some time even while our goal is always the enhanced safety of children. SOP provides techniques and guidance for building a family safety network to enhance the daily, on-the-ground safety and well-being for children. 6 SOP in Brief Below is a list of some key terms and concepts that will be explored in detail throughout this issue of Reaching Out. Safety Organized Practice (SOP) is a collaborative child welfare practice model that includes both practice strategies and concrete tools for onthe-ground child welfare workers, supervisors and managers to enhance family participation and foster equitable decision making. The three questions are utilized throughout SOP to determine what the family/agency is worried about (harm and danger/risk), what is working well (strengths/protective factors), and what needs to happen next to ensure future and continued safety for the child (safety goal). Family team meetings (FTMs) are used by child welfare agencies to develop agreements and joint understanding between families, the department, providers and other team members regarding topics such as the cause and level of child welfare intervention, placement changes, case progress and other pertinent decisions. The process used during FTMs allows everyone s voice to be heard and strives to give all members a sense of ownership and presence in the process. Often times during these meetings, the harm and danger statements, safety goals and families action steps are developed and/or reviewed. The use of FTMs throughout the duration of a family s involvement with child welfare allows all team members to create and use a shared understanding and commitment to work toward desired and agreed upon outcomes. Harm and danger/risk statements are short but detailed statements disclosing what happened in the past to hurt the child physically, emotionally and/ or developmentally (harm), and what people are worried may happen in the future (danger/risk) because of the harm in the past. These statements are composed by the family in collaboration with their family safety network and the child welfare professional. Safety goals: Serving as a direct follow-up to the harm and danger/risk statement, safety goals are the vision for where the caregiver(s) want(s)/need(s) to get so that everyone (the family, child welfare, and the legal system) can know that their child will be safe in the future. Consultation and information sharing framework (safety mapping) is a comprehensive approach to elicit information and organize the information to assist in critical thinking and decision-making. The framework is used in partnership with families (information sharing), or can be used as a consultative tool in group supervision or case consultation. Family safety networks comprise a group of family, friends and professionals who care about the child, are willing to meet with CWS, understand the harm/danger concerns CWS and others have and are willing to do something that supports the family and helps keep the child safe. The network is a key element of safety planning and should be formed on the first day of case planning. The Three Houses and Safety House tools are information gathering tools designed to bring forward the voice of children and young people in the safety planning process. Within the Safety Organized Practice framework, the tools allow child welfare professionals to ask the three key questions of SOP in a way that children can understand and respond to. Safety planning is the process of developing the action steps that will move the family from their harm and danger/risk statement to achieving their safety goal. This plan is intended to help caregivers know and understand what to do to show that they will be able to keep their child or children safe over time. It is also what child welfare, attorneys and the judge will use to see if caregivers have demonstrated that they can keep their child safe in their care. Further, it is designed to ensure safety beyond child welfare s involvement in the family s lives by helping families identify and rely upon support within the family network and inside their own communities., Learning Objectives Knowledge Introduction to the components of SOP that together improve outcomes in direct child welfare work, including the SDM system, Signs of Safety, cultural humility, and trauma-informed practice. Learn about solution-focused interviewing and how it directly helps workers strengthen their interviews of all stakeholders involved with the family, which leads to better joint critical thinking and decision making throughout the case. Learn the definitions of the terms used in the safety mapping framework, three kinds of maps, and how to walk through the process for consultation in the office and use with a family. Introduce the practice of making effective harm and risk/danger statements and safety goals. Increase understanding of how harm and risk/danger statements are linked to risk of future maltreatment. Receive a step-by-step guide to family safety network development using the family safety circles practice. Learn or re-learn the purpose of interviewing children in a child-welfare context. Receive the step-by-step guides for using the Three Houses and Safety House practices with a child. Learn how uptake of innovations works in practice. Learn new ideas and strategies for implementation and further knowledge / skill development. 8 Skill Practice using the Three Questions to elicit the most relevant information and how to avoid labeling and making generalizations of families. Practice Safety Mapping in conjunction with the SDM assessments on a current case with a group of peers. Practice developing harm and risk/danger statements in the office and with families in the field. Practice development of effective and realistic safety goals. Learn how to facilitate the development of a family safety network that will last long after the agency is no longer involved. Learn how to use the Three Houses and Safety House activities with a child. Participate in planning personal next steps for implementation and further skill development. Values Think of social workers as change agents rather than as case managers. Value the notion of safety as a verb. Adopt a common language for discussing the work with one another and with families. Value the distinction between insight and action. Value the collaborative process of creating risk/danger statements and safety goals with families. 9 Reflect on the importance of the child participation in the family s assessment of danger/safety and in safety planning. Appreciate that it is best practice to help a family build up their informal support network to minimize risk and enhance future safety when the agency is no longer involved. Value the need for short- and long-term training and coaching plans to create SOP sustainability. 10 Many Have Influenced the Formation of SOP Safety Organized Practice Foundational Institute Many people have influenced the work around safety organized practice. We hope that you will see that this practice draws on the best from many areas and the hope is that you will continue to influence and shape this work. Insoo Kim Berg and Steve deshazer are the founders of solution-focused brief therapy Andrew Turnell and Steve Edwards created the Signs of Safety (SOS) approach and wrote the book Signs of Safety Sonja Parker created the Safety House and has done a lot of work with Safety Networks and Safety Planning Susie Essex wrote Working with Denied Child Abuse with Andrew Turnell Nicki Weld created the Three Houses for interviewing children Rob Sawyer and Sue Lohrbach brought Signs of Safety and SDM to Olmstead County, Minnesota. Sue Lohrbach created Harm & Danger Statements and took mapping and family engagement to a new level with the creation of the Consultation and Information Sharing Framework CRC staff bring Structured Decision Making to the table Valerie Batts: helped to create the VISIONS, Inc. model of Multicultural Change John Vogel, Sophia Chin & Heather Meitner brought SDM and Signs of Safety to Massachusetts and they created the 4 quadrant map National Child Traumatic Stress Network brings research about traumainformed child welfare practice California child welfare professionals, families, and children have been testing and adapting this work. In California: The (NCTA) had the vision to bring Safety Organized Practice to California and invited people from Children s Research Center (CRC), the State of Massachusetts and others doing Signs of Safety NCTA invited counties in the north to try SOP and offered coaching San Diego County started to implement it and coach NCTA called all of the pilot counties back to hear their experiences NCTA in partnership with CRC and Casey Family Programs took what they learned, invited more practice experts and expanded upon components that were working. Training curriculum was developed based on lessons learned. Curriculum and implementation continues to evolve based on work in California and others in the field 11 Safety Organized Facilitated Process By Heather Meitner A Rolling Agenda It could take three to five meetings, or more, to get through the entire process, depending on the family. Get as far as you can in each meeting and pick up where you left off next time. The Three Questions and Safety Mapping: To get everyone on the same page regarding worries and what has worked well. The Three Houses: To include the child s voice on Three Questions in the safety map. Danger Statements/Safety Goal: To reach shared understanding/agreement about why we are involved and what the situation needs to look like to end our involvement. Safety Circles: To build a network of support (informal). Safety Planning With Network: To co-create a detailed safety plan with day-today activities and to find a network of people to monitor plan implementation and success. +/ Feedback: To reflect on what we did well and what we would like to change. 12 Dialogue Structure for Facilitating Any Meeting Meeting Stage Purpose Context Group Agreements Network/Stakeholders (People and Community) Desired Outcome Content Next Steps +/ Feedback Key Questions to Guide Each Stage of the Meeting Overall, why are we meeting today? What do we want to talk about today? What do we want to walk away with today, in this meeting? (A plan, list, decision, etc.) Is there anything that might pull our attention away from our focus today? How do we want to work with each other? Is everyone here who should be here? If not, what should we do to get them here? (Genogram, Eco-map, Safety Circles, Cultural considerations) What do we want to walk away with today from this meeting (a plan, list, decision, etc.)? What s working well? What are we worried about? What s the impact on the child? Gray Area? (Safety mapping) What steps do we need to take from here? Who does what? By
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