A Commitment to Child Safety

posted by Karen Hood
Wednesday, June 23, 2010

We want to keep you up to date on what the Department of Social and Health Services’ Children’s Administration is doing to improve the health and safety of children in Washington.

The Children’s Administration is committed to child safety, whether children are in their own home or in out-of-home care. Child safety is our utmost priority – across all of our child welfare programs, including child protective services, in-home services, children and youth in out-of-home-care placement, and adoptive placements.

We take to heart anytime harm is inflicted on a child with whom we’ve had contact, take each child’s situation personally and use each child’s case as a lesson to evaluate our training and practice.

During this last year, under the new leadership of DSHS Secretary Susan N. Dreyfus and Children’s Administration Assistant Secretary Denise Revels Robinson, we have been identifying lessons learned from cases across the system and have changed and continue to change our practices. These changes will help us further strengthen the focus on child safety. For example:

  • We are in the process of standardizing the protocol for intake of referrals across the state.
  • We have implemented a higher level of safety plan review, and are planning supervisor training.
  • The National Center for Child Protection is currently consulting with us and providing on-site training on assessing, developing and monitoring safety plans.
  • We have changed how we will review critical incidents. We take the opportunity to learn what happened and what services were provided and are more responsive and deliberate in how we improve our practice.

For more information on what DSHS is doing to help children be healthy and safe, visit our website: http://www.dshs.wa.gov/children.shtml

Thomas Shapley
Department of Social and Health Services
Senior Director

Public Affairs

360-628-1043 (PDA)

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