Plans of Safe Care
A Plan of Safe Care is a document that lists and directs services and supports to provide for the safety and well-being of an infant affected by substance abuse, withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure, or a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, including services for the infant and their family/caregiver. A Plan of Safe Care should specify the agencies that provide specific services, outline communication procedures among the family and provider team, and guide the coordination of services across various agencies with the family.

In their January 17, 2017 Program Instruction (ACYF-CB-PI-17-02), the federal Administration on Children and Families (ACF) states: “While CAPTA does not specifically define a 'Plan of Safe Care,' CARA amended the CAPTA state plan requirement at 106(b)(2)(B)(iii)(1) to require that a Plan of Safe Care address the health and substance-use disorder treatment needs of the infant and affected family or caregiver. We want to highlight that this change means that a Plan of Safe Care must now address not only the immediate safety needs of the affected infant, but also the health and substance-use disorder treatment needs of the affected family or caregiver. Consistent with good casework practice, the plan should be developed with input from the parents or other caregivers, as well as any collaborating professional partners and agencies involved in caring for the infant and family.”

Plans of Safe Care go beyond the immediate safety factors of an infant and address their ongoing health, development, and well-being as well as the treatment and other service needs of their family/caregiver. Plans of safe care may incorporate services and supports for diverse, longer-term needs, including physical and mental health, substance use treatment, parenting education, infant developmental screening and other family needs.

 • Read the Pennsylvania Plan of Safe Care Guidance    



Build on the work begun at the Governor’s Institutes!

• Receive clarifications on policy questions
• Learn from other counties’ implementation efforts
• Fine tune your county policies and procedures regarding Plans of Safe Care for infants born affected by substance use and their families 

 2019 Session Dates

• Nov. 1, 2019 – State College, PA: Child Welfare Resource Center Training Room                               
• Nov: 7, 2019 – Tioga, PA: The Deane Center 
• Nov. 12 or 13, 2019 – Meadville, PA*: Child Welfare Resource Center Training Room 
• Nov. 20, 2019 – Philadelphia, PA: Child Welfare Resource Center Training Room 
• Dec. 2, 2019 – Mechanicsburg, PA: Child Welfare Resource Center 
• Dec. 3, 2019 – Archibald, PA: Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit #19 
• Dec. 6, 2019 – Pittsburgh, PA: Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) 
Dec. 9, 2019 – Malvern, PA: Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) East 

Governor's Institute Follow-Up

During the Governor’s Institute, county planning teams asked to learn more about what other teams are doing related to Plans of Safe Care. 
Do you have policies or procedures that you'd like to share? Have you developed a Plan of Safe Care template for your county? Are you implementing any training or communication strategies to share information about Plans of Safe Care?  Please use the survey below to tell us about all the activities that you accomplished since the Governor's Institute or are planning to do in the future.  

If you would like to share any letters, forms, or written policies that you've developed, please email them to As ideas are submitted, they will be posted online and shared with all the teams who participated in the Governor's Institute. Thank you for sharing your ideas! 

Contact us

  • For any questions related to the content of the Governor’s Institute or choosing county planning team members, please email
  •  For any questions related to Act 54, the Pennsylvania Plans of Safe Care Guidance, or the Governor's Institutes on Plans of Safe Care, please email