ACT Raising Safe Kids
There are pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for ACT Raising Safe Kids as listed below:
The ACT program national office and the ACT Regional Directors conduct a rigorous application process to select attendees for the initial training of ACT Facilitators. Applicants are requested to show in a questionnaire that they have the necessary background, which includes:
- Educational background including at minimum an Associate’s Degree
- Experience working professionally with children and families, conducting/teaching groups for adults, and with program implementation (several questions address these issues)
In addition, applicants need to show evidence of organizational support to implement ACT through a letter of support from the organization; and a resume must be submitted to show qualifications and experience.
Those selected to attend the training, receive the document ACT Program Training and Certification Processes that describes the rigorous processes of training and certification.
The ACT Manual, distributed at the initial 2-day training, includes a chapter entitled, ACT Facilitator Guide that provides guidance and suggestions on how to implement the program successfully as well as information about evidence-supported methods of educating adult learners. In addition, ACT Facilitators also receive the ACT Marketing Toolkit to help them and their organizations promote the program in their communities and recruit parents for the program groups. ACT Coordinators (those who can also conduct the 2-day training for professions) also receive the toolkit to help recruit professionals for their trainings.
Contact Julia da Silva at firstname.lastname@example.org for the application questionnaire, the ACT Manual, and ACT Toolkit.
Formal Support for Implementation
There is formal support available for implementation of ACT Raising Safe Kids as listed below:
Oversight of implementation is provided by the APA Violence Prevention Office director in collaboration with the directors of the five ACT Regional Centers through regular emails, the ACT listserv, conference calls, Skype, and the 2-day annual ACT Leadership Seminar at the American Psychological Association in Washington, DC. In addition, each regional center has a process to provide oversight, help with implementation and problem solving, and technical support to the program sites in their areas, by way of regular emails, phone calls, meetings, and an annual meeting (reunion) in a rotating, convenient location.
When funding is available, the APA Violence Prevention Office provides financial support to help the ACT Regional Centers award mini-grants to local organizations implementing the program. Revenue from sale of program materials is also used to award scholarships to ACT Coordinators to attend the annual 2-day ACT Leadership Seminar at the American Psychological Association headquarters in Washington, DC.
The APA Violence Prevention Office also functions as a catalyst and focal point, creating a great sense of community and collaboration among all involved with the program. As a result, there is a high level of collaboration and networking among regional center directors, ACT Coordinators, and ACT Facilitators from all over the country and many parts of the world. The annual seminar, the ACT listserv, and regular emails reduce distances and create a community of partners.
There are fidelity measures for ACT Raising Safe Kids as listed below:
Fidelity of implementation of the ACT Raising Safe Kids Program is a major goal of the APA Violence Prevention Office. Fidelity is addressed in detail at the 2-day initial ACT Facilitator workshop, at the ACT Coordinator online training, and at the annual ACT Leadership Seminar. Fidelity and adaptation are also discussed at regular emails exchanges between the APA national office, regional center directors, and ACT Coordinators.
As a measure, the ACT Facilitator Manual includes the ACT Checklist Form that ACT Facilitators conducting the program for parents need to complete for each group and email to the respective ACT Regional Center director that follows up.
Since the program is implemented in diverse communities, cultures, and languages, a certain level of adaptation is needed. The program national office at APA has articulated messages and language defining acceptable levels of adaptation, necessary due to cultural diversity.
Implementation Guides or Manuals
There are implementation guides or manuals for ACT Raising Safe Kids as listed below:
Implementation guidance is embedded into the ACT Facilitator Manual.
Research on How to Implement the Program
Research has been conducted on how to implement ACT Raising Safe Kids as listed below:
- Knox, M., Burkhart, K., & Cromly, A. (2013). Supporting positive parenting in community health centers: The ACT Raising Safe Kids Program. Journal of Community Psychology, 41(4), 395-407.
- Weymouth, L.A., & Howe, T.R. (2011). A multi-site evaluation of Parents Raising Safe Kids Violence Prevention Program. Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 1960-1967.