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2.1.a Safety plus permanence

“Safety” has always been and
continues to be the primary objective for all public child protection agencies.
The bottom line is to get and keep children out of harm’s way. If children can
remain safely with their parents while the adults work through their problems
and issues, the children stay home. If not, they are placed with other
relatives. In about 10% of child protection cases, the children can’t stay at
home and there are no suitable relatives to keep them safe. These children come
into care, with the primary objective being keeping them safe.

In recent years, it has become clear safety, by itself, isn’t enough.
Children also need permanence. They must have a permanent, stable home where
they can develop normally and go about the business of being children. They
must not fear for their safety, worry about whether their basic needs will be
met, or wonder where they will be living tomorrow.

About 90% of children in care will reunify with their families. In the
meantime, they need to know they are safe and they won’t have to move, except
to go home. For the approximately 10% of foster children who can’t ever go
home, a safe, permanent home must be there for them, with no delay.

From your
point of view:

Write your
thoughts after each question.

•           What
do you think happens to children when they don’t feel safe and can’t be sure
their basic needs will be met?

•           What
do you think the effects are on children when they are abruptly taken from
their homes and families and placed into the homes of strangers?

•           What
do you think it does to children when they aren’t sure where they will be
living tomorrow?

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Please send comments or questions to Gary A. Crow, Ph.D. || and visit