The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) was signed and became federal law on November 19, 1997. The law is tied to federal Title IV-B and Title IV-E funding, building on, and amending the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980. ASFA refocuses requirements to the issues of child safety, well-being, permanence, and timeliness. Since AFSA went into effect, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has worked toward prioritizing the tenets set forth by ASFA with safety maintaining its paramount status. When Pennsylvania participated in the Federal Child and Family Services Review in 2002, safety was determined to be an area that would benefit from further study and improvement.
The Safety Assessment and Management Process is the result of the work that has occurred since 2002. It is based on research conducted and technical assistance provided from the National Resource Center on Child Protective Services (NRCCPS) and Action for Child Protection, Inc.
The purpose of a safety assessment and management process is to assure that each child in a family is protected. The primary purpose of this process is to enable caregivers to provide protection to the children for whom they are responsible. Safety is the primary and essential focus that informs and guides all decisions made from intake through case closure, including removal and reunification decisions. The process leads to making informed decisions about safety planning and implementation of safety interventions that will control identified threats. Safety assessment and management is not incident based and is not defined by determining the presence or absence of injuries or incidents. A safety assessment and management system is reliant on good social work practice and is congruent with family-centered and strength-based practice.
Action for Child Welfare Protection
National Resource Center on Child Protective Services (NRCCPS)