Our center is the national center for training and research in the SafeCare model, an evidence-based practice for the treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect.
The National SafeCare® Training and Research Center (NSTRC) was established in 2007 with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The goal of NSTRC is the nationwide implementation of the SafeCare model, an evidence-based home visitation program that has been shown to reduce child maltreatment among families with a history for maltreatment or with risk factors for maltreatment. The NSTRC is engaged in research efforts to improve the training, implementation, and translation of the SafeCare model. Additionally, NSTRC is cultivating collaboration with communities, child welfare administrators, and policy makers to increase support and resources for evidence-based practice and the prevention of child abuse and neglect on a local, national, and international scale.
Since 2002, a large randomized comparative outcome trial of SafeCare has been ongoing in the state of Oklahoma. Ten years, and 2200 families later, the results are in and will be published in the journal Pediatrics later this year. The bottom line: adding SafeCare to an in-home service program reduced child welfare reports for neglect and abuse by about 26% compared to the same in-home services without SafeCare for parents of children ages 0-5, SafeCare's target population. The study is the largest and longest randomized trial within a child welfare system to date that shows such a positive impact on child maltreatment recidivism.
The study began in 2002, when a research team led by Mark Chaffin, Ph.D., Professor of Pediatrics at OUHSC, and one of the nation’s top maltreatment researchers, collaborated with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to design an implementation of SafeCare that could be rigorously evaluated. The team randomized the six service regions in Oklahoma to incorporate SafeCare or to continue to implement their existing intensive home-based services program. The Oklahoma University team also trained more than 200 community-based providers to adopt SafeCare.
“These results demonstrate the need for SafeCare’s practices in preventing maltreatment, even within child welfare systems,” says SafeCare developer John R. Lutzker, Ph.D.“The families in this study averaged five prior encounters with child protective services, so we’re dealing with the most at-risk families. For SafeCare to reduce the recidivism rate among this population indicates that it is a powerful intervention for highly at-risk parents.”
An augmented version of SafeCare was recently deemed eligible for funding under the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) administered by the federal Administration on Children and Families. The augmented version of SafeCare includes motivational interviewing and training on assessing risk factors for child maltreatment risk. SafeCare teaches parents interaction skills with their children, home safety, and child healthcare skills. It was approved based on study conducted in rural Oklahoma (Silovsky, Bard, Chaffin, Hecht, Burrish, Owora, Beasley, Doughty, & Lutzker, 2011). This will make funds potentially available from the $1.5 billion allocation for home visiting programs to prevent child maltreatment.
For more information, see http://homvee.acf.hhs.gov/document.aspx?rid=1&sid=18
National SafeCare training and Research Faculty