Skills program a beacon for vulnerable families
An evidence-based parenting program being trialled in Australia through the NSW Department of Family and Community Services is showing great potential in keeping vulnerable families together.
SafeCare® was developed a decade ago by the National SafeCare Training & Research Center, Georgia State University, and has been shown to reduce child neglect and harm by 26 per cent. Six agencies across NSW are now piloting the program and we are working with the Department and trial sites to implement it. The US, Britain, Canada, Spain and Israel have already adopted the program.
More than 140 NSW families have already completed or are participating in the program.
“SafeCare® is not just about giving advice. It’s about teaching specific skills to address parenting challenges and having the support to master a skill,” said Annette Michaux, a Director at the Parenting Research Centre.
“It really has potential to keep families together safely and help parents with quite complex needs. Raising children is a learnable skill. It doesn’t just come naturally and for some of us learning that skill is a little bit harder.”
Ms Michaux said the program was backed by rigorous research and tested over many years. There were promising results for families where children were at risk of child abuse and neglect.
One-on-one parent interaction
SafeCare® trains practitioners to support parents one-on-one. It enhances their positive interactions with children, keeping their homes safe and improving their children’s health.
Over the past year we began working with the National SafeCare Training & Research Centre in the US to have our staff certified as SafeCare trainers and coaches as part of the NSW implementation of SafeCare. Local, high-quality SafeCare coaching support is available to the agencies involved in the trial.