By Kristen Selleck, MSW
National Training and Consultation Director
I attended the 2010 Florida Dependency Summit and, along with David Mandel and Bridget Reilly, met with various leadership staff from DCF and other agencies that’ve been trained in the Safe and Together model. There were excellent stories from these sites about their implementation, the changes in practice and case outcomes.
Workers and managers alike shared stories about the success for families of the implementation of the Safe and Together model. There were stories about how workers had begun intervening with domestic violence perpetrators to reduce the risk to children. There were stories about children who did not have to be removed from their mothers’ care because of assessing survivors’ strengths. In addition, managers talked about how their workers trained in Safe and Together advocated for maintaining children in the care of domestic violence survivors when other staff (not trained in the model) suggested removal. There were stories about how the assessment skills learned in the Safe and Together training helped DCF maintain the safety of children in cases that had the potential to end tragically.
Here are some of those stories:
There were many success stories that we heard while at the Summit. The entire experience was, honestly, inspiring for me. To hear the stories of good practice and to think how many children have already been kept safe and their well-being accounted for is more than exciting, it’s heartwarming. It was encouraging and informative for me to also hear the creative and innovative ways in which Safe and Together Florida sites have strategized to maintain the momentum of the Safe and Together training as well as find ways to monitor the implementation and ongoing practice. It supports my confidence that our collective work is really benefiting families and maintaining the safety and well-being of children every day.