CfC FP ObjectiveSupporting Families and Parents
Delivered toParents/carers who are at-risk of child abuse and neglect or families who are working towards reunification.
Delivered byEducators who are certified SafeCare providers.
Delivery SettingHome-based
Program DeveloperNational SafeCare Training and Research Center

About the program

SafeCare supports the development of positive behaviours for parents/carers who are at-risk of, or have been reported for, child abuse and neglect.

Program structure

The program is delivered in the parent/carer’s home in 60-minute weekly sessions, over a period of 18-20 weeks. It consists of 3 SafeCare modules, each containing 6 sessions, focusing on:

  • Parent-infant/child interaction
  • Health
  • Home safety

Module sessions begin with an observational assessment to identify parent/carer strengths and areas for improvement. Educators then conduct 4 training sessions focused on skill-development, followed by a final observational assessment. Training sessions use principles from well-established social learning theory and practice.
More information about the SafeCare modules is available.

Facilitator training

To deliver the program, there are three levels of training that providers can undertake.

  • Provider Training and Certification – A 4-day workshop where trainees learn to implement the three SafeCare modules. At the completion of training, trainees are paired with a SafeCare Coach for ongoing support. Coaches also provide program fidelity monitoring to trainees for a minimum for 2-years.
  • Coach Training and Certification – A 2-day workshop for Certified Providers to become a Coach. The training includes information about the Coach role, conducting fidelity assessments and coaching other providers.
  • Trainer Training and Certification – A 3-day trainer workshop for certified Coaches who want to become a SafeCare Trainer.

More information about SafeCare Provider training is available.

Cost

For information about pricing, contact the program developer.

Evaluation and effectiveness

The program has been evaluated many times, including with two randomised controlled trials (see Chiffin et al., 2011; Solvsky et al., 2023).
Silovsky and colleagues (2023) conducted a randomised control trial to examined changes in risk and protective factors for parents/carers enrolled in the program compared to those receiving a standard level of care. The study focused on parents in an urban high-risk setting and data was collected on 285 parents/carers enrolled in the program and 277 receiving alternative care.

The results showed that parents in the program improved on self-report measured related to depression and social isolation. However, there were no observable differences between the groups on measures of family resources and substance abuse. There were reductions in reports of intimate partner violence for participants in both the intervention and control groups.

An earlier randomised control trial (RCT) conducted by Solovsky and colleagues (2011) showed some positive results for participants in SafeCare compared to those receiving standard care. For instance, the intervention group were found to have marginally significant reductions in reports of child abuse and neglect at post-program, although they diminished over time, and had comparatively had higher levels of engagement and retention in services. The results are based on data collected about 48 participants in the SafeCare program and 57 participants receiving standard home-based mental health services.

References

Silovsky, J., Bard, D., Owora, A. H., Milojevich, H., Jorgensen, A., & Hecht, D. (2023). Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Adverse Childhood Experiences in Vulnerable Families: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial of SafeCare®. Child Maltreatment 28(2), 384–395. https://doi.org/10.1177/10775595221100723

Silovsky, J. F., Bard, D., Chaffin, M., Hecht, D., Burris, L., Owora, A., Beasley, L., Doughty, D., & Lutzker, J. (2011). Prevention of child maltreatment in high-risk rural families: A randomized clinical trial with child welfare outcomes. Children and Youth Services Review, 33(8), 1435–1444. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.04.023

Additional research resources are available.

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