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We can create a child protection system that everyone respects. A system that keeps children safe and helps them heal from things that have already happened. A system that's fair to parents, holds them accountable, and is truly helpful. A system that's richly rewarding for those who work in it. A system that everyone agrees makes society better. 

 

All children need to be safe and well taken care of. Almost all children want to be with their own family. Rigorous safety planning gives children what they need and want; the opportunity to grow up safely with their own family whenever possible. Rigorous safety plans are held in place by strong networks. If there isn't a network around children holding their parents accountable to following the rules of the safety plan, it isn't a safety plan. It's just a list of promises or a list of instructions.

 

Families with children caught up in the child protection system can ask the best people they know to help them keep their children safe, tell them what child protection is worried about, get their help in making a written plan that will keep the worries from happening in the future, and come up with ways to show everyone that the plan is being followed and is working. They can share the plan with the social worker and make the plan better if the social worker doesn't think it's good enough. When necessary they can bring the network, plan, and documentation to court to show the judge.