196120 Predictors of Participation in Project SAFE: Scare Tactics

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pauline Tan, MPH, CHES , Project SAFE, The Help Group, Van Nuys, CA
Sheri Strahl, MPH , Project SAFE, The Help Group, Van Nuys, CA
This study investigates the relationship between perceived caseworker demeanor and subsequent engagement in a child abuse and neglect prevention program (Project SAFE). Ninety-five percent of Project SAFE clients are referred by the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), and services are voluntary.

The objective of this study is to determine if the demeanor (supportive, neutral, or punitive) of the DCFS Children's Social Worker (CSW) has any impact on subsequent family enrollment into Project SAFE. To assess CSW demeanor, focus groups were conducted with Project SAFE's In Home Outreach Counselors. Their responses were based on direct observation and family reports. CSW's were then classified as punitive, supportive, or neutral. Using a database of client acceptance/rejection of services, engagement rates were analyzed in relation to specific CSWs assigned to cases. Analyses reflect that perceived punitive CSW demeanor significantly decreases the program acceptance rate reducing the likelihood of engagement.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the importance of initial support to the caregiver when initiating referrals. 2. Explain 1 reason to why scare tactics tend to decrease a personís readiness to engage in the recommended response. 3. List 2 common preconceptions that clients may have that can impede them from engaging in a child-abuse/neglect prevention program.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Evaluation Coordinator for a child abuse/neglect prevention program. I have been researching and evaluating our program for about 2 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.