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What is a Safety Plan?

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A safety plan is a document which is personalised for each family. The main goal of a safety plan is to safeguard children from any current or future risk of harm. Usually, Social Services will state what you can or cannot do to ensure your children’s safety as the Local Authority have concerns for the children’s welfare.

Do you have to agree to the safety plan?

A safety plan is a voluntary agreement to reduce the Local Authority’s concerns within your family. Although voluntary, if you do not follow the safety plan, it can cause the Local Authority to have further worries for your children and can result in further action such as a Child Protection Plan being put in place, the Pre-Proceedings process starting, or Care Proceedings being initiated.

The Local Authority can rely on a breach of safety plan as evidence that you may not be working honestly with professionals or are not making the necessary changes needed to care for your children. On the other hand, if you are consistently following the safety plan, then this could be used positively in your favour to show that you are engaging with professionals and safeguarding your children.

Are they legally binding?

Safety plans are not legally binding documents so you cannot be forced to sign them or be bound by abiding by them. You can amend parts of the safety plan if the Local Authority agree to your proposed changes. If there are any parts which you do not agree with or do not understand, then you should ask the Social Worker to clarify this.

There are no specific timescales for how long a safety plan should last but it should be reviewed often, and this should be detailed within the document or communicated to parents.

What is included in a safety plan?

Each safety plan is different for each family, but some examples of what can be included in safety plans are below:

  • Using appropriate parenting techniques and implementing boundaries and routines for the children,
  • Supervision of care or contact by safe family members,
  • Engagement with programmes such as the Freedom Programme if there is a concern of domestic abuse,
  • Reporting all accidental/non-accidental injuries to social services,
  • Confirmation of travel arrangements to and from school for the children,
  • Ensuring that children attend all of their health appointments,
  • Parents to work open and honestly with all professionals.

How can we Help?

If you are subject to a Child Protection Plan, Pre-Proceedings, or Care Proceedings and would like to discuss any of these assessments further, please get in touch with Johnson Astills today and we would be more than happy to discuss your requirements further. Please call us at our office in Leicester on 0116 255 4855 or our office in Loughborough on 01509 610 312 and ask to speak to a member of the Care Team. Alternatively, you may prefer to email us at or fill in our enquiry form.