Plan of Safe Care

A Plan of Safe Care is simply a referral to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF)* to ensure babies and their families are linked to appropriate services to quickly address health and/or developmental needs.

Federal law requires medical providers to inform DCF when:

  • Moms test positive for substances, have untreated substance use disorder and/or are thought to be misusing substances
  • Infants are affected by substance abuse, withdrawal symptoms or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

*The state respects the bond between parents and their baby and does not tend to intervene unless there is clear and present danger to an infant’s safety. 

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A Plan of Safe Care:

  • Determines the best efforts to assist you and your baby’s ongoing health,
    development and well-being
  • Provides free services and support based on your family’s needs and desires
  • Assists with referrals and connects you to community service providers
  • Focuses on the health of you and your baby!

A plan of safe care DOES NOT penalize or punish anyone for child maltreatment!

The goal of DCF is to get parents referred through the notification to the best counseling, support and/or treatment groups, like those initiated by the NEFHSC, to help babies have the healthiest start possible.