At the basic practice level, agencies organize into those divisions or departments most efficient for administrative purposes. The goal of the resulting structure is to protect children who have already been abused or neglected or who are already dependent. The focus is on arrangements and environments where children are safe and do not experience further abuse or neglect.
Safety is best assured at the intermediate practice level when the related arrangements and environments are stable and persisting, i.e., when they are permanent. This means the outcome for each child should be such that the basic arrangements and specific environment for the child does not change over time. For example, a childs having to move from one home to another indicates the permanence outcome is not achieved.
The multi-leveled nature of the new child protection paradigm is particularly evident in the expansion from safety to permanence to sustained well-being. Here, sustained well-being includes supporting and managing the physical, emotional, moral, social, intellectual, and environmental needs, problems, and vulnerabilities of children in ways assuring sustained progress now and indefinitely into the future. Safety and permanence are, then, not ends but prerequisites to adequate child protection practice.
How it works:
Safe children are of the essence of child protection at the basic practice level. Permanence is then necessary in order to effectively sustain the Well-being of children, with sustained Well-being representing the over-arching goal of child protection.