Child protection workers are tasked with prioritizing and facilitating safe, secure and preferably, long-term care arrangements for children and adolescents living within the child protection system. Recognizing the complexities associated with this task, this paper will propose that the application of theory – namely attachment theory and family systems theory – may aid in the conceptualization of placement decision-making within the context of child protection practice. In particular, this paper will describe a framework entitled: Towards a second-order view of child protection placement-related decision-making. This framework assumes the position that the ideals of relationship security and permanency of placement are more accessible in instances in which practitioners are able to locate themselves within temporary, stabilized but ultimately evolving systems. Specifically, the practitioner is encouraged to conceptualize where their individual selves, the broader child protection system and family system are located at any one point in time, whilst also identifying the direction in which these systems should be moving.