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Birth, marriage & life events

Coordinate a Plan of Safe Care (POSC)

The Plan of Safe Care (POSC) is a document created by a pregnant or parenting woman and her providers. This document helps a client:

  • Navigate the types of services or supports they might find useful.
  • Record their preparations to parent.
  • Organize the care and services they receive.

A POSC should be offered to all clients experiencing a substance-exposed pregnancy or birth.

Who coordinates a plan

The initial POSC is often coordinated by hospital social workers. However, any provider working with peri- or post-natal clients can coordinate a POSC, provided that they can meet regularly with the client and make referrals to needed services.

Examples of providers include:

  • Recovery coaches
  • Case managers
  • Community Umbrella Agency workers
  • Home visitors
  • Doulas
  • Early Intervention staff
  • Treatment providers
  • Medical providers

Developing a plan

Ideally, the Plan of Safe Care involves working with and supporting a client throughout the perinatal period. The plan can then be shared with the hospital at the time of the birth.

A POSC covers:

  • Parent behavioral health and recovery services. This includes addiction and mental health supports.
  • Family or child-focused services, such as prenatal care appointments or a referral to Early Intervention.

The plan should include:

  • Contact information for the family and key providers.
  • Details on the family’s needs, strengths, and goals.
  • Documentation for any referrals to services that you offer or make.

Steps for providers

Use the Plan of Safe Care template to develop a plan with the client.

If a POSC has already been created with one provider, there is no need to make a new one. The pregnant or parenting woman can choose who to work with and share the plan.

Providers can print a POSC brochure and share it with families for more information.

Encourage the client to sign a release of information.

Hospital social workers should encourage clients to sign a release of information so that their Plan of Safe Care can be shared with their other providers. This will help all the providers better coordinate care.

An appropriate release of information and personalized referrals should also accompany any transition.

Share the plan with PA Childline and the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS).

When you notify PA ChildLine that a POSC has been created, you should also email the plan to Philadelphia DHS at

DHS will document that the POSC is in place and that referrals to appropriate services have been made.

In some cases, the provider may also need to file a report for abuse or neglect to PA ChildLine. Providers should refer to the POSC guidance for Philadelphia healthcare providers (PDF) for recommendations on when a report may be needed.


General resources for pregnant or parenting women

  • Philly LIFTS provides direct support to parents and children affected by Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).
  • City health centers provide a full range of primary medical and support services for registered patients.
  • Healthy Start helps pregnant women and their families to plan for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.
  • Philadelphia Infant Toddler Early Intervention Program is an entitlement program for infants and toddlers ages 0-3.
  • MaternityCare Coalition offers services for pregnant women and parenting families and children ages 0-3.
  • Philadelphia Maternal, Child and Family Health Doula Support Program serves pregnant and postpartum people with substance use disorder (SUD) or opioid use disorder (OUD). Doulas in this program offer emotional, educational, and informational support throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and up to one year postpartum. For more information, call (267) 324-4174.
  • Philly Families CAN connects families (pregnant or with children up to age 3) to voluntary, personalized home visiting support. For more information, call (215) 685-4701.
  • Cap4Kids offers a list of pregnancy and infant resources.

Mental health or addiction resources

  • For Plans of Safe Care substance use disorder assessments, contact Drexel Caring Together at (215) 967-2130. All individuals are eligible for assessments regardless of insurance status.
  • Community Behavioral Health can connect members with mental health and substance use disorder treatment services. These services include outpatient and intensive outpatient programs, partial hospitalization, inpatient, residential, and withdrawal management services.
  • The Office of Addiction Services and BHSI can connect eligible uninsured or underinsured Philadelphians with substance use disorder treatment.
  • Healthy Minds Philly offers a list of mental health and addiction resources.

Plan of Safe Care committee

The committee is comprised of members from the: