A Guide to Implementing the Safe Babies Court Team™ Approach
Every day we learn more about how to support communities in improving the experience of infants and toddlers in foster care. After more than 10 years of building Safe Babies Court Team sites in communities around the country, it is time to produce a detailed “how to” guide.
The Guide to Implementing the Safe Babies Court Team™ Approach includes 12 chapters that cover a comprehensive list of topics important to implementing the Safe Babies Court Team approach. Focused on collaboration with families whose young children are in foster care and across child-serving systems, this volume is a community organizing tool for improving our response to maltreatment of infants and toddlers. The online document includes a wide array of forms, checklists, and examples to bring the work to life in a tangible way that supports your ability to put this system into action.
Throughout the manual, we have placed a strong emphasis on how we as professionals interact with one another and with the families who are faced with child maltreatment allegations. For example, Chapter V: Meeting Parents Where They Are: Special Challenges for Parents Involved in the Child Welfare System describes ten important issues that may be confronted by parents served by Safe Babies Court Team sites:
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
- Other Drugs of Choice
- Domestic Violence
- Poverty and Homelessness
- Historical Trauma and Racial Equity
- Don’t Forget Fathers
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Parents
- Teen Parents
- Child Sexual Abuse
- Mental Illness
In order to work effectively with all families, we articulate a stance of openness, termed “not knowing,” in our interactions with one another that helps prevent our assumptions from clouding what is really going on in a family’s life, or in the decision-making of another member of the family’s team:
A Guide to Implementing the Safe Babies Court Team Approach will be available online in December 2016.
Gold, C. M. (2016). The silenced child: From labels, medications, and quick-fix solutions to listening, growth, and lifelong resilience. Boston, MA: Da Capo Press.