SafeCare® Colorado

in Blog
January 21, 2016


Recently, our Family Connects Program was selected to be a part of SafeCare® Colorado. Three new communities were selected to provide these services – this brings the total number of SafeCare® sites to eleven, representing thirty-eight counties throughout Colorado.  SafeCare® is an internationally recognized, evidence-based, in-home parent education program that provides direct skill training to caregivers in the areas of parenting, home safety, and child health.

This parenting model was developed in 1979, and SafeCare® Parent Support providers have been trained in at least seventeen states and seven countries. In Colorado, SafeCare® is being implemented as a voluntary service for families in an effort to prevent entry or re-entry to the child welfare system. The program is designed for high risk families with children ages zero through five years. SafeCare® typically takes sixteen to nineteen weekly sessions to complete (about four to six months) and each session lasts one to one and a half hours. Much of the appeal of this program is its free, flexible nature, meaning that families are able to choose the order and amount of services according to their needs. SafeCare® is delivered to families at their convenience via home visitors called Parent Support Providers.

SafeCare® Colorado exists in partnership with the Colorado Department of Human Services, the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse, and Colorado State University. John Hickenlooper’s Child Welfare Plan “Keeping Kids Safe and Families Healthy” recognized the importance of child maltreatment prevention. As part of a group of cornerstone prevention programs formed or expanded under this plan, SafeCare® Colorado offers proactive in-home, voluntary services that support at-risk families in understanding the health, development and safety needs of young children.

Since its inception, there have been over sixty international studies conducted to track the results of the SafeCare® model. This program focuses on three different subjects referred to as topics that teach parents skills in the areas of health, safety, and parent child relationship.  Each topic has been validated through single-case studies, showing significant increase in the use of parenting skills taught, as well as significantly reducing home hazards. In addition, statewide randomized trials concluded that, after tracking families for up to seven years, when compared to families receiving services as usual, families enrolled in SafeCare® had reduced child maltreatment by twenty-six percent! These international and cross cultural results are important not only to show how well the program works, but also because the SafeCare® team at Family Connects serves families from a variety of cultures and languages including Spanish, Somali, Arabic, Amharic and English.

We are proud to add this program to our toolbox of services for children and their families. North Range is the only community mental health center in the state that currently offers these services, and we see it as a wonderful addition to the prevention and early intervention efforts that we are able to provide in Weld County. For more information please contact Jamie Preuss-Morrison, SafeCare® Coordinator at 970.347.1306, or Janis Pottorff Family Connects Program Director 970.347.2491.