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Worries:

  • Burn-out (CW)
    • Lack support
    • Authentic requests – shame
  • Bias – geo., worker, judge, (difference) e.g. biased instruments
  • Family First – focus on services versus safety
  • Repetitive P.W. (cya, govt. silos, bias against poor, no trust of S.W.)
  • Fear based reaction, uninformed decision making (how we see the people, lack clear definition of safety)
  • Disempowered S.W.
  • Unmanageable caseloads
  • Power U’ those who know less / $
  • # of reports
  • Focus on negative

Strengths:

  • Communities/Support Networks
  • Clear conversations about worries
  • Child voice
  • Open and transparent
  • Forever safety
  • Continuous conversation/assessment
  • Leadership – listening
  • Vison – children safe in home

Worry Statement:

Signs of Safety practitioners in the United States are worried that if nothing changes in child welfare in our country, our work will continue to be driven by fear, hindered by structural bias against poor people and people of color, social workers will continue to burn out from unmanageable caseloads, parents will be diminished by services trying to fix them, children will remain isolated and unsafe, and the public will be increasingly angered by a much needed but ever more expensive system that never seems to work. 

Goal:

Signs of Safety practitioners will see child welfare agencies in the United States doing what works to keep children safe by surrounding them with safe, stable adults, empowering parents, building relationships, and creating community capacity, while effectively tackling poverty and the structural racism that effects so many of the children caught up in the child welfare system. 

Scale:

Where are you right now, on a scale of 0-10, where 10 is child welfare agencies in the United States are doing what works to keep children safe, empower parents, build relationships, and create community capacity, while effectively tackling poverty and structural racism, and 0 is even though we have thousands of passionate, skilled and committed social workers and agency leaders who are doing things every day to make a positive difference for children, families, and communities, our child welfare system is largely driven by fear, hindered by structural bias against poor people and people of color, and operated by social workers who’ve been trained to push services on parents while overlooking all but the most immediate danger to children, and as a result our child welfare system doesn’t do nearly as much as it could to make children safe enough?

Next Steps:

  • Advocacy at all levels
  • Sharing good practice
  • Structures/Frameworks
  • Vision – what works
  • Relationships – connect
  • Thinking Differently
  • Community
  • Academic community/curriculum
  • Evidence Based
  • Take time to study this map, then edit it to sharpen it up.
  • Take this map to as many people as we can to get their help in sharpening it.
  • Ask everyone we can to stake a claim on our sharpened scale, identify the things that make their number as high as it is, add their strengths to our list, and then commit to a small next step to do more of what’s already working. 

 

If you've taken time to look at this, then please use the comments section below to suggest improvements to this map, stake a claim for your number on the scale, describe the things that make your number as high as it is, and commit to a small next step to move your number just a bit higher. 

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