What is a Family Care Plan?
A Family Care Plan (formerly known as a Plan of Safe Care) is a document that explains what supports you have in place to help you be the best parent to your baby. It will list all the important people who are part of your care team including your partner, family and friends, your doctor, and other treatment providers.
If you’re engaged in treatment, ask your providers to work with you to develop a plan before your delivery. It’s your plan and can change over time. You may also choose to share it with your OBGYN during a prenatal appointment and/or a supportive partner, family or friend who will be part of your delivery.
Commonly Asked Questions About Family Care Plans
Will information I share with my doctor or another healthcare provider be held against me? Will the information be confidential?
Confidentiality will still be in place. However, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are considered mandated reporters. This means that if they have concerns about the safety of any child, they must submit a report to the Department of Children & Families or DCF. This has not changed. Prenatal substance exposure alone is not grounds to substantiate child abuse or neglect.
What are the substances of concern?
Substances that infants can be prenatally exposed to and require a CAPTA notification include: methadone, buprenorphine, prescription opioids, marijuana, prescription benzodiazepines, alcohol, other illegal/non-prescribed medication, and/or the misuse of prescription/over the counter medication. Empowering birthing persons, supporting families, and connection to treatment and resources to support the well-being of families is part of the focus. The focus of this policy is two fold: it is about drugs that are misused, or not as your doctor intended, or drugs that are not prescribed and used illegally and empowering birthing persons, supporting families, and connection to treatment and resources to support the well-being of individuals families. You should work with your prescribers to determine if the medications you take are safe to use during pregnancy, and if not, find safe alternatives. Psychotropic medications are also NOT included in the notification requirement. Tobacco is also dangerous during pregnancy and can negatively impact your baby’s health; however, it is not included in this notification. Quitting smoking can be very challenging, but there are cessation resources that can help you to stop or reduce your use. Talk to your provider about your options. You can also call the call the CT Quitline at 1-800- QUIT-NOW for help with quitting or register online at www.quitnow.net/connecticut
Does a Family Care Plan put me at risk for a Child Protective Services report?
NO. In CT, prenatal substance exposure alone is not grounds for child protective services involvement. However, a CPS report will be made to the CT DCF Hotline if your provider suspects abuse or neglect outside of prenatal exposure alone. Having a Family Care Plan completed before delivery helps to mitigate potential unnecessary reports to child protective services if there are no safety concerns.