Practitioner tools

ESSENTIAL TOOLS

Chat Box is used to facilitate a balanced discussion with any stakeholder while also gathering information. It is most often used by the case manager in their conversations with parents and in their monthly contacts with caregivers. The tool is grounded in three questions that focus on worries, strengths, and what needs to happen.

Three Houses is used to help everyone understand children’s views about what is happening in their lives and what they would like to see happen. The tool includes the “House of Worries,” the “House of Good Things,” and the “House of Dreams.”

Case Map is the assessment framework used in the model and is a participatory process for everyone involved in the case. The map organizes key information known about a child and family at any given time into key domains relevant to the goal of enhancing ongoing safety, permanency, and wellbeing for the child. This information is then used to develop a clear, detailed, action-oriented plan. The Case Map includes a timeline for the family to move towards and eventually achieve the safety goal.

Network Meetings are regular meetings within the casework process to involve families and their network in assessment and planning for the child’s safety, permanency, and wellbeing.

Safety Journal is a notebook, email chain, or other document facilitating communication between everyone involved in visitation or other contact between children and parents. The focus of the communication is to document successes in developing and following the plan, as well as challenges in the plan and steps taken to resolve problems.

Words and Pictures Explanation is a shared story developed between the parents and the case manager to explain concerns to the child. The process involves and speaks directly to children. Case managers and families work collaboratively to create a narrative with pictures. The goal is to answer for the child, “How did things get to be the way they are and what are we all doing about it?”

The Family Support Plan is a process for working with the parents and the network to develop and implement collaborative, understandable, achievable, and behaviorally based safety plans. The Family Support Plan enhances the protection of children on a day-to-day and ongoing basis and is used to ensure safe visits, make plans for reunification, and establish a plan to mitigate future risk to the child after reunification. 

Words and Pictures Plan is a tool to help children understand the most important aspects of the Rigorous Plan. This plan transforms the Rigorous Plan into words and pictures that the child can understand and includes key rules, contact information for safety network participants, and a description of the safety object.

OPTIONAL TOOLS

Genogram is a visual representation of a family that shows information about people and their relationships.

Family Notes is a communication tool that families and caregivers use to communicate to each other about how the child is doing. Family Notes can be developed in any format, including a physical notebook that is kept with the child or online notes sent through text message or email.

Network Finding Matrix is a tool that can be used internally by child placing agency staff to prepare for conversations with families or caregivers who are reluctant to develop their network.

Family Safety Circles are used to guide conversations with families and help them think through the value and importance of having a network. The Family Safety Circles consists of three concentric circles. The category for each circle can be adapted based on the context of the conversation. This tool can be used with an individual or a group.

Personal Support Plan is an action plan for youth who demonstrate challenging behaviors such as being defiant, running away, using drugs or alcohol, self-harming, or exhibiting suicidal ideation or aggressive behaviors. The plan involves a worksheet that helps practitioners guide the family and youth through the planning process.

Safety House is a tool for involving children and young people in the safety planning process. This tool gathers information from the child’s perspective and involves them in identifying who the people are that keep them safe and what they do to keep them safe. The completed Safety House is brought to the parents and the network to inform the planning process.

The Transition Object is an object that brings comfort and helps the child with transitions. The Transition Object may be a stuffed animal, picture, or other important object that the child can use during times of transition. The adults help guide the child in choosing a Transition Object.

Safety Object is a nonverbal means by which a child can communicate feeling worried or unsafe to adults who they know will then take action to deal with their concerns. The child and their support network choose the safety object together and place in a specific location. When the object is moved by the child, the adults in the network check in with the child to see if action is needed.

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