Safety plans are supposed to work like contracts: The parents, step-parents or grandparents agree to stop whatever it is they are doing to endanger a child — overindulging in pain pills, getting drunk, engaging in fistfights around the children, cohabitating with a dangerous beau. In return, DCF agrees not to take their kids.
In theory, they are a way to make parents face up to their demons, be they drug abuse, mental illness or family violence. Such plans are supposed to provide detailed roadmaps to recovery, and hold parents accountable when they fall short.
Except the plans often don't hold them accountable, because the agency has a track record of not noticing — or not acting — when the contract is broken. Except to impose another safety plan.
"Every parent feels like that's their child — their child is almost like their property, you know? They don't want anyone to tell them anything."
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