SafeTogether 2017-07-28T03:17:28+00:00

Children at Risk

Children at RiskThere are more than one million adults in the United States with a serious mental illness. As many as 70 percent of them lose custody of their children. Child & Family Connections’ groundbreaking solution, SafeTogether, teaches parents how to create a legally binding family plan that ensures a responsible adult is caring for the children in the home. It also provides assurances that the parent is receiving effective and appropriate psychiatric care so the family can return to everyday life.

The SafeTogether Solution

The SafeTogether SolutionOften, when a parent exhibits symptoms, Child Protective Services investigates the household. Even in the absence of evidence of neglect or abuse, without a competent adult in the home, they are required to remove the children, resettling them in out-of-home placement or foster care.

In fact, psychiatric disabilities are the most frequent disabilities used to terminate parental rights.

In SafeTogether, parents establish an integrated support team of friends, family and health professionals with defined roles and responsibilities. Children who are developmentally appropriate are involved in aspects of the plan design and creation.

Beyond the classroom, each family receives individual coaching sessions to help them implement their plan.

A triggering event—such as a parent feeling unwell or a support team member’s heightened concern—sets the plan into action. As the family’s need changes, so too does the SafeTogether plan.

We can teach parents how to implement just such a plan. For details, please contact us »

About the SafeTogether Program

SafeTogether Advisory Board

Patty Burke, M.Eng

Board of Directors, Treasurer
Child & Family Connections
Chair, SafeTogether Advisory Group

Jeanne Lehrer, PhD

Vice President, Youth Behavioral Health
NorthEast Treatment Centers
SafeTogether Strategic Program Partner

Carol Horwitz, Esq.

Executive Director
Disability Rights Pennsylvania

Fran Gutterman, MSW

Senior Director
Casey Family Foundation

Julia Lekner-Leslie, Psy.M

Clinical Care Management Coordinator
Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health

Larry Real, MD

Chief Medical Officer
Department of Behavioral Health Philadelphia

Melodie Jackson

Family Specialist/SOC
Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health

Sue Walther

Executive Director
Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania

Valerie Oulds, Esq.

Senior Vice President, Children’s Transformation Initiatives
Community Behavioral Health

Evan Kaplan

Executive Director
Child & Family Connections
Deputy Chair, SafeTogether Advisory Group

Kathleen Creamer, Esq.

Managing Attorney
Community Legal Services
SafeTogether Strategic Program Partner

David Fair

Deputy Chief Executive Turning Points for Children

Fran Hazam

Consumer Advocate
Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Joanne Nicholson, PhD

Professor, Researcher
Dartmouth University

Laura Deriggi, MSW

Director, Integrated Clinical Consultation Services
Community Behavioral Health

Sandra Bloom, MD

Associate Professor, Health Management Policy
Drexel University Center Nonviolence Social Justice

Toni Wolf

Commissioner, Rehabilitation Commission
State of Massachusetts

Waleska Maldonado, MHSA

Deputy Commissioner, Community Based Prevention Services
Philadelphia Department of Human Services

Barra FoundationSafeTogether is funded by The Barra Foundation. Program partners include Community Legal Services, Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research at the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Behavioral Health & Intellectual disAbility Services, Disability Rights Pennsylvania, and the Mental Health Association of Pennsylvania.