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Developing A Safety Plan

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Written Assignment — Essay (2,500 words, +/-10%)

You are required to write an essay which provides you with an opportunity to thoroughly investigate and address a key issue in domestic and family violence practice: safety planning.

Core consideration for developing a safety plan

“A personal safety plan is a series of strategies and actions developed in consultation with the adult victim and child to support or works towards safety. Typically the focus is on planning responses to an immediate threat or crisis and identifying ways that the adult victim and child can increase their safety in their home, work and social environments. (WA Department for Child Protection and Family Support, 2015)

For this assignment, you need to retrieve information on key considerations to be incorporated into a safety plan for victims and their children. You should draw on national and international government websites and publications around safety planning along with academic literature relevant to this assignment.

For the first part of your assignment identify five key risk indicators (e.g. weapons, custody matters) and discuss how they apply to victims in ongoing and/ or estranged abusive relationships. You need to support your selection of risk factors through a critical examination and application of the relevant literature.

For the second part of your assignment, you need to develop five key safety measures recommended as a minimum inclusion in a safety plan (e.g. escape routes, access to different resources). You should draw on national and international guidelines on safety planning when working with victims and children and identify commonalities across the literature, i.e. what appear to be the minimum measures recommended across different guidelines. While you may not find a set of measures that is consistently prioritised across all guidelines, you should identify measures you are able to recognise from more than one set of guidelines. You will need to critically consider whether some safety measures may be tailored towards children while others may be tailored towards the adult victim and the implications this has for either party (e.g. what safeguards need to be put into place when developing safety measures with children; what information needs to be communicated to children when developing safety measures with the adult victim).

You should include at least fifteen references in your essay. At least eight of these should be academic references based on empirical and/ or theoretical examinations of the issues of risk assessment, safety planning and practice implications. Remaining references can be sourced from the grey literature, practice guidelines and evidence-based practitioner manuals.

Useful resources:

Safer Pathways

Child Welfare Information Gateway

Wisconsin Coalition Against DV

AVERT Family Violence – Screening, risk assessment and safety planning

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