BISMARCK — Child welfare professionals say the goal when foster care workers are trying to help children in a bad environment, is to form a partnership with the family.

This was the theme of child welfare training in the capital city all week.

Even in homes with signs of domestic violence and neglect, the goal is first and foremost, to create a safe environment. And second, to keep an on-going relationship with the families, in hopes, the child is able to return to living with them.

The training is called, ‘Signs of Safety’ and about 200 people who work in child welfare learned all about not only the risk factors for their clients, but also how to help families get to the root of the abuse, and hopefully make a big change.

Ward County Foster Care Supervisor Allison Schmill said, “Our goal has always been to keep kids at home when at all possible, and keep them with their families. If it’s not possible to keep them home, then we’ll have them connected to their parents and other relatives in a safe way.”

She said we can all help make sure the kids in our communities are safe. If you ever see or know a child struggling with an abusive or neglectful situation, you should call social services to talk about what’s happening and file a report.

But in the meantime, she asks that we all be support-staff for our neighbors, who may be going through something we don’t understand.