Purpose of a Plan of Safe Care:
- Ensure the parent and infant remain safe and healthy
- Work with the family to identify any needs they may have
- Connect the family to resources in the community and follow-up over time to ensure needs are met
A Plan of Safe Care (POSC) is a family-centered prevention plan designed to promote the safety and well-being of infants with prenatal substance exposure and their birthing parents. A Plan of Safe Care can strengthen protective factors, promote healthy development, and prevent child welfare involvement through connections to parenting education, safety guidance, and wrap-around resources and services.
Due to legislation changes in recent years, the population of infants requiring a POSC has expanded beyond infants exposed to illegal substances. It now includes infants exposed to any controlled substance. While a family who falls within this new eligibility may not warrant a referral to Child Protective Services, it is important they have the support necessary to mitigate risk as they bring their baby home and keep their family together and thriving.
A set of criteria mandates when a family must be reported to Child Protective Services; otherwise, infants with specific substance exposure and no safety concerns are referred to Help Me Grow. This new referral pathway to Help Me Grow offers a community-based response to provide wrap-around services and supports to families who would traditionally be routed to Child Welfare or are currently offered no resources. Birthing hospitals, clinicians, and care providers can connect gestational parents/caregivers and their babies to these supports through an online referral.