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Yes (SafeCare Augmented only)

Model Overview

Last Updated

April 2017


Theoretical Model

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.


Model Components

SafeCare, like its precursor Project 12-Ways, includes one-on-one home visits between providers 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 a baseline assessment session, followed by four training sessions, and concludes with a follow-up assessment. Providers use a four-step approach to address target behaviors: (1) describe and explain the rationale for each behavior, (2) model each behavior, (3) ask the parent to practice the behavior, and (4) provide positive and constructive feedback. 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.


Target Population

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 use, 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.


Where to Find Out More

National SafeCare Training and Research Center
Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development
School of Public Health
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 3995
Atlanta, GA 30302-3995
Phone: (404) 413-1281