Giving babies a safe and healthy start is important to his or her health and development. Connecticut takes a family-focused approach to supporting parent(s), guardian(s) and their children as they welcome a new family member and take positive steps toward their recovery from a substance use disorder.
To help achieve this goal, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) helps to keep children safe when in the care of a parent, guardian or other adult. Under CAPTA, families with a baby that was exposed to substances before birth work with their support team (doctors, community providers, family) to develop Plans of Safe Care. These Plans connect children and their families to tools that can help with everything from learning and development to support groups for ongoing recovery.
In 2016, as the opioid crisis was growing, the ComprehensiveAddiction and Recovery Act (CARA) was passed. In response to CARA, Plans ofSafe Care now look at not only the safety of a child but also the ongoingtreatment of a caregiver who has a substance use disorder. By increasingcoordination among prevention, treatment and recovery, the act aims to providemore resources to help save lives.
How does it work?
- Hospitals notify theDepartment of Children and Families when a child who was substance-exposedbefore birth is born. Known as a CAPTA Notification, this does not identify theparent or child, as it indicates there is no cause for concern about the safetyof the child.
- If the hospital hasconcerns about the safety of the child, they will send a report to DCF. DCFwill review the report and determine whether abuse or neglect have occurred.
Your support team is there to help you and your child live safe, healthy and productive lives. We have developed a series of articles to break down different pieces of Plans of Safe Care and introduce you to helpful programs and supports available throughout the state.
A Plan of Safe Care (POSC) is an informational and resource document that can help pregnant women and parents access needed services and supports for themselves and their babies. It is an ongoing plan that focuses on an infant’s ongoing health, development, safety and well-being.
In addition to identifying areas of need for the infant, the POSC organizes referrals to services for parents such as recovery supports, medical/behavioral healthcare, material/financial support, and other resources required to meet those needs.
Creating a Plan of Safe Care is a great way for any expectant parent(s) to prepare for baby’s arrival. Whether you are welcoming your first child or adding another child to the family, knowing that plans for sleep safety, car safety, child care, nutrition and more are already in place offers peace of mind.
Connecticut 2-1-1 accounts make it easier for you to connect with the resources you need.
Use the 2-1-1 Account feature to save resources for a Plan of Safe Care.