196146 Project SAFE: An interdisciplinary model for the prevention of child abuse and neglect

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sheri Strahl, MPH , Project SAFE, The Help Group, Sherman Oaks, CA
Pauline Tan, MPH, CHES , Project SAFE, The Help Group, Van Nuys, CA
Project SAFE (Support and Advocacy for Family Empowerment) is a funded child abuse & neglect prevention program of First 5 LA that is staffed by public health professionals and mental healthcare providers. Built upon a platform of voluntary direct services for families, collaboration, and capacity building, the program includes evaluation methods that also provide secondary clinical information. Families served by the program are identified by child protective services as at risk for child abuse and participate in determining their own plan of action to increase child safety and strengthen protective factors. Direct service strategies include individualized, comprehensive, in-home family support; therapeutic interventions, referrals, and service access; and concrete assistance. Workshops, including Powerful Families and The Incredible Years, father engagement techniques, and parent-led facilitated projects are conducted to build the capacity of families and the community to prevent child abuse. Project SAFE has a significant positive impact on the utilization of community resources, support to caregiver, adaptive caregiver/child interaction, increased developmental stimulation, improved interaction between caregivers, and improved financial conditions. Collaboration between a network of providers led to highly coordinated services with Wilder Survey findings indicating a highly functioning, action oriented collaborative. Grounded in public health and mental health principles, Project SAFE is an established model for child abuse prevention that can be replicated as a whole or broken down into its four elemental components: direct services, capacity building, collaboration, and evaluation.

Learning Objectives:
List 3 strategies for strengths-based child abuse and neglect prevention. Describe how to integrate evaluation measures into child abuse prevention programs without compromising core services. Discuss the pros and cons of mixing disciplines.

Keywords: Violence Prevention, Child Abuse

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been actively involved in the prevention of child abuse and neglect for 8 years in developing, implementing, and evaluating direct services and prevention programs. I teach courses in public health education and know well the underlying principles of public health.
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.