Risk Assessment and Safety Planning consist of anticipating and preventing risks to a youth’s and family’s well-being. Safety plans developed with families help them use their current capacities to resolve potential dangers. Safety plans also offer a range of external supports to intervene when preventive measures cannot avert a crisis. Input from all relevant partners results in a single, unified plan to address the assessed risks and to promote effective collaboration in urgent situations.

CONTRIBUTION TO THE OUTCOME: Youth and family safety is basic for any successful intervention. Effective safety planning takes account of both risk and protective factors, demonstrating a commitment to finding signs of safety in the family, home, and community. A risk and safety plan that uses the family’s own resources and past successes shows commitment to building on strengths. In order to remain sustainable after treatment ends, safety planning relies on family members and natural supports as first safety responders. It backs up their efforts with progressively more intensive supports for emergent situations. Good safety plans are clear and understood by all participants in the plan.