Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

7.1 APS Safety Planning

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
7.1 APS Safety Planning

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​Legal Authority


The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is mandated to offer services to protect adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.  Safety planning is a tool that can be utilized to address immediate safety threats.  The safety plan is driven by the adult’s wishes and is completely voluntary.  The adult should agree to the contents of the plan, which must be specific, detailed, and practical in addressing the safety factors identified in the adult assessment.  Safety planning is reviewed and revised as needed, but must be renegotiated every fourteen (14) working days if the tasks on the plan are still necessary.  The safety plan can be utilized during an investigation and during an on-going case. 

Practice Guidance

The preferred method for completing the safety plan is through the TWIST offline application, which can be accessed with or without internet connection. 

An adult always maintains the right to refuse services such as a safety plan.  Exceptions to this right include court orders, a court appointed guardian, and diminished decisional capacity.  If the SSW believes that the adult does not have decisional capacity, the SSW may seek court intervention through a safety and risk consultation.


The SSW:
  1. Prior to the negotiation of the safety plan, consults with the FSOS to determine if a safety plan is necessary and appropriate for the needs of the adult.
  2. Utilizes the safety plan to address immediate safety threats and provide initial assistance and direction for such protection and prevention strategies to guard against additional abuse, neglect, or exploitation: 
    1. When the SSW believes the adult’s safety may be compromised and the adult remains in the current setting;
    2. When the adult has agreed to be temporarily placed with a relative or other person due to safety threats; or
    3. When there are significant changes in the adult’s life including but not limited to; household member change, change of residence, supervision specifications, etc.
  3. Negotiates the safety plan with the adult and any other individual that the adult requests participate, and informs the adult that;
    1. The plan can be renegotiated prior to the expiration date or at any time to address continued safety threats;
    2. If safety threats are alleviated prior to fourteen (14) working days the plan can be discontinued; and
    3. The plan will expire no later than fourteen (14) working days from negotiation. 
  4. Negotiates immediate safety threats with the adult including but not limited to:
    1. Specific threats to the adult’s health and/or safety;
    2. The alleged perpetrator’s high-risk behaviors which may include:
      1. Substance misuse;
      2. Violence;
      3. Mental health issues;
      4. Cognitive disabilities; or
      5. Dangerous family situations and maltreatment. 
  5. Ensures the safety plan:
    1. Includes services that can assist the adult in order to prevent abuse, neglect, or exploitation and maintain in the current setting; and
    2. Includes clear and concise safety goals with start and end times to expire no later than fourteen (14) working days from negotiation of the plan.
  6. Includes monitoring by those who have assigned tasks;
  7. Does not include monitoring of any portion of a safety plan without all participants' explicit knowledge and written or verbal consent;
  8. If the adult agrees to a written safety plan:
    1. Ensures that the safety plan is signed and dated by all involved parties;
    2. Informs the adult that the plan will be documented in the digital file and filed in the hard copy case record; and
    3. Ensures that all parties involved in the plan receive a copy by using the individual's preference of email, text, picture, and/or hard copy.
  9. If the adult wishes to complete a verbal safety plan:
    1. Notifies the adult that the agreed upon tasks will be documented in the digital file as a part of the case record.
  10. Informs the adult by phone that the safety plan is discontinued within forty eight (48) hours of the decision to discontinue the plan, if it is determined that the plan will be discontinued prior to the expiration date on the safety plan. 

Contingencies and Clarifications

When completing safety plans with adults receiving services through an alternate care facility (nursing home, supports for community living (SCL), acquired brain injury (ABI) facility, residential, day programming, etc.) please consider the following: 

  • The safety plan should not include any directives or mandates to an agency, unless the administrator of the agency agrees to the tasks and signs the plan as a participant, even if the adult wishes for these actions to be included.
  • If an adult requests that actions be included in a safety plan that cannot be mandated, the SSW should work with the adult on finding alternate service providers to achieve the adult's wishes. 

For adults who do not have access to email or the ability to receive a copy of the signed safety plan by text, the SSW should complete the appropriate plan using the template linked within this SOP.  The hard copy should be left with the family.  The SSW should take a picture of the signed plan with their tablet and upload into TWIST. 





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