The information in this profile reflects feedback from this model’s developer as of the above date. The description of the implementation of the model here, including any adaptations, may differ from how it was implemented in the studies reviewed to determine this model’s evidence of effectiveness. Inclusion in the implementation report does not mean the practices described meet the DHHS criteria for evidence of effectiveness.
The National SafeCare Training and Research Center (NSTRC), as part of the Center for Healthy Development at Georgia State University, provides training, technical assistance, implementation support, and quality assurance to providers of the SafeCare model.
NSTRC supports statewide implementation of SafeCare in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma, and Washington.
SafeCare is a structured parenting program that is designed to address the behaviors that can lead to child neglect and abuse. The program was developed to offer a more easily disseminated and streamlined program to parents at risk for child abuse and neglect, based on key components of its precursor, Project 12-Ways.
SafeCare provides parent training in three focused areas: (1) parent-child/parent-infant interactions, (2) infant and child health, and (3) home safety. The model emphasizes learning in a social context and uses behavioral principles for parent training across the three modules. SafeCare Augmented, an enhanced version of SafeCare, adheres to the SafeCare model with additional training on Motivational Interviewing and domestic violence.
Project 12-Ways employs an ecobehavioral approach to the treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect. Ecobehavioral refers to the multifaceted in-home services provided to families. Twelve key services are offered: (1) parent-child interaction, (2) stress reduction for parents, (3) basic skills training for children, (4) money management training, (5) social support, (6) home safety training, (7) multisetting behavior management, (8) infant and child health and nutrition, (9) problem solving, (10) marital discord counseling, (11) alcohol abuse referral, and (12) a variety of pre- and post-natal prevention services for young and unwed mothers.
SafeCare, like its precursor Project 12-Ways, is designed for families with a history of child maltreatment or risk factors for child maltreatment, including young parents; parents with multiple children; parents with a history of depression or other mental health problems, substance abuse, or intellectual disabilities; foster parents; parents being reunified with their children; parents recently released from incarceration; and parents with a history of domestic violence or intimate partner violence. The program also serves parents of children with developmental or physical disabilities, or mental health, emotional, or behavioral issues. SafeCare is intended to complement the more specialized intervention services these families might be receiving from other agencies.
SafeCare is available to parents with children ages birth to 5 and has been used with culturally diverse populations. SafeCare Augmented was adapted for high-risk, rural families who do not have a long history of involvement with child welfare services.
SafeCare aims to prevent and address factors associated with child abuse and neglect by offering services targeting improved health care skills, including identifying symptoms of illness or injury and seeking appropriate treatment; safety of the home environment; and parenting skills, including providing stimulating activities and positive parent-child interactions.
Project 12-Ways aims to reduce first-time, repeated, and recidivistic child abuse and neglect among clients by offering 12 distinct services (see the Theoretical Model section).
Program Model Components
SafeCare, like its precursor Project 12-Ways, includes one-on-one home visits between home visitors and families. All SafeCare modules include baseline assessments and observations of parental knowledge and skills, parent training, and follow-up assessments to monitor change. Each module typically involves one assessment session and five training sessions. Home visitors use a seven-step approach to address target behaviors: (1) describe the desired target parent behaviors, (2) explain the rationale for each behavior, (3) model each behavior, (4) ask the parent to practice the behavior, (5) provide positive feedback, (6) provide constructive feedback, and (7) review the parent’s performance, have the parent practice, and set goals for the week. The training is designed to promote generalization of skills across time, behaviors, and settings.
SafeCare Augmented adds domestic violence training and Motivational Interviewing, a technique that explores and builds on an individual’s motivation to change.
Program Model Intensity and Length
NSTRC recommends that SafeCare home visitors conduct weekly or biweekly home visits for approximately 60 to 90 minutes each.
SafeCare is typically delivered between 18 and 22 weeks, depending on parents’ progress and whether other services are integrated into SafeCare delivery. Home visitors work with parents until they meet a set of skill-based criteria established for each of three program modules (health, home safety, and parent-infant/parent-child interactions).
Project 12-Ways involves up to 12 programs over one year.
NSTRC is part of the Center for Healthy Development in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. SafeCare state- and agency-level implementation sites are located in 21 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington. Internationally, the model is being implemented in Australia, Belarus, Canada, Israel, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Project 12-Ways has been implemented in southern Illinois for more than 30 years.
Adaptations and Enhancements
SafeCare was adapted from Project 12-Ways. SafeCare Augmented is an enhanced version of SafeCare that incorporates Motivational Interviewing, additional training for home visitors on Motivational Interviewing, and ongoing consultation for home visitors from local experts in substance abuse, mental health, and intimate partner violence. An enhancement to the Planned Activities Training (PAT) curriculum module known as CPAT incorporates cellular telephones to promote family engagement between home visits. Home visitors send families daily text messages and occasional voice messages to encourage and remind them about newly learned parenting strategies.
Enhancements or adaptations to the SafeCare model will be considered by the developers. A number of studies are currently underway examining enhancements to the SafeCare model. For information about ongoing studies of enhancements and modifications, please contact the developer.
The information contained on this page was last updated in July 2015. Recommended Further Reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the information contained in this profile was reviewed for accuracy by the National SafeCare Training and Research Center on April 23, 2015. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.