Healthy & Safe
About This Program
Target Population: Parents with learning difficulties who are the main caregivers of a child less than five years old
For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 4
Healthy & Safe. An Australian Parent Education Kit is a home‐based education resource tailored to the unique learning needs of parents with learning difficulties. It is designed to equip these parents who have young children with the knowledge and skills necessary for managing home dangers, accidents, and childhood illness.
Healthy & Safe was adapted from the UCLA Parent-Child Health and Wellness Program developed by Alexander Tymchuk (Tymchuk, A. J. (2006). The health & wellness program: A parenting curriculum for families at risk. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company) and has been widely disseminated as a part of the Australian national strategy Healthy Start. Healthy Start is a national capacity building strategy which aims to improve health and well-being outcomes for children whose parents have learning difficulties (www.healthystart.net.au).
The Healthy & Safe kit provides lesson plans, modules, and parent workbooks covering 6 health and 13 home safety topics including recognizing when your child is sick, calling the doctor, using medicines safely, identifying dangerous objects in the home, and developing a home safety plan.
The goals of Healthy & Safe are:
- Improved parent understanding of health and symptoms of illness
- Improved parent understanding of and skills to manage home dangers and prevent accidents and injury
- Improved parent knowledge of and skills needed to recognize and respond in an appropriate and timely way to illness and emergencies
- Improved parent knowledge about visiting the doctor, knowing when to call, what information to provide, and what questions to ask
- Improved parent understanding of how to use medicines safely
The essential components of Healthy & Safe include:
- Guiding principles:
- Program takes an ecological approach by considering family context. Teaching is sensitive and respectful of the learning environment (i.e., typically the family’s own home).
- Program is specific to the needs and desires of the individual parent and their family.
- Parent educator and parent work as a team on parent-identified needs and priorities.
- Program is strengths-based. Parent educator assumes parents can and will learn.
- Parent educator develops a good rapport prior to beginning lessons, displays genuine ongoing interest in the family and uses examples from the family’s daily life when teaching.
- Teaching occurs where the skills are required to be used, therefore most often in the home.
- Parent educators use behavioral teaching strategies (e.g., role play and corrective feedback) that have evidence of effectiveness with parents with learning difficulties.
- Parent educators use provided resources (e.g., lesson plans, workbooks, pictures) to guide parents through a scripted lesson addressing a particular topic.
- Program is structured. Activities are practical, taught in sequential steps, explained simply, and repeated.
- Parent educator selects appropriate level of lesson complexity (3 possible levels included in lesson plans) for each parent.
- Together, the parent and parent educator decide whether they will systematically work through all the lessons or focus on the lessons that are most meaningful and relevant to the parent’s circumstances.
- Parent educator adapts teaching to the parent’s individual learning style and pace.
- Parent educator is prepared before each session (e.g., understands the topic, anticipates likely questions or difficulties, and has all relevant equipment available).
- The program contains 6 health modules including:
- Understanding Sickness & Health
- Temperature & Breathing
- The Doctor
- Using Medicines Safely
- Life Threatening Emergencies I
- Life Threatening Emergencies II
- The program contains 13 safety modules including:
- Introduction to Home Safety
- Fire Dangers & Precautions
- Electrical Dangers & Precautions
- Cooking Dangers & Precautions
- Poisons Dangers & Precautions
- Food Dangers & Precautions
- Suffocation Dangers & Precautions
- Heavy Objects Dangers & Precautions
- Sharp Objects Dangers & Precautions
- Dangerous Toys & Precautions
- Animals Dangers & Precautions
- Clutter Dangers & Precautions
- Outside & General Dangers and Precautions
Healthy & Safe directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:
- Learning difficulties and parent of a young child
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:
This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Parent educators are encouraged to engage significant others in the program, as agreed by the parent. Others can actively participate in sessions or may be engaged to reinforce parent learning in between sessions.
60- to 90-minute weekly visits
At least 10 weeks
This program is typically conducted in a(n):
- Adoptive Home
- Birth Family Home
- Foster/Kinship Care
Healthy & Safe includes a homework component:
Parents are encouraged to use the knowledge and apply the skills learned in lessons to their own situation. Each session involves a review at the end and parent completion of exercises using a Parent Workbook. This workbook, and review discussion, involves supporting the parent to find examples of how they can apply the lesson content to their own home (e.g., removing dangerous items from child’s reach in their own kitchen). The parent is then encouraged by the parent educator to generalize this skill in between sessions (e.g., removing dangerous items from the bathroom).
Resources Needed to Run Program
The typical resources for implementing the program are:
The capacity to print materials or to display program materials on-screen is necessary since the program manual and all resources are provided to trainees in a kit containing one DVD and one CD. Note that the program is to be delivered in the parents own home thus a portable screening device may be required.
Education and Training
Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications
The program is suitable for use by appropriately trained parent educators who currently, or in future, may work with parents with learning difficulties. There are no restrictions on who can attend training, although the training is best suited to those who have the capacity to work in a parent’s own home, and assumes a good understanding of child health and developmental stages.
Education and Training Resources
There is a manual that describes how to implement this program , and there is training available for this program.
- Catherine Wade, PhD
Parenting Research Centre
phone: +61 3 8660 3500
Training is obtained:
The Parenting Research Centre (Australia) offers consultation, training, coaching, and implementation support to agencies interested in incorporating this program into their service delivery. Training can be conducted at the centre, a community center, or an agency’s own office. The initially essential 1-day training is delivered in a face-to-face group setting, but the following consultation and coaching can be (and usually is) provided over the phone or via internet teleconferencing.
Number of days/hours:
Parent educators must attend a 1-day training course in delivery of the program. Time required for additional support to implement the program will be decided throughout consultation process.
There are no pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Healthy & Safe.
Formal Support for Implementation
There is formal support available for implementation of Healthy & Safe as listed below:
The Parenting Research Centre (Australia) offers consultation, training, coaching and implementation support to agencies interested in incorporating Healthy & Safe into their service delivery. The type of support provided will be based on individual practice or organization needs. Implementation Support will likely involve a number of components, such as:
- Consultation to determine how best to embed the program within an organization
- Background reading and multiple choice assessment
- One‐day face‐to‐face training in a group setting
- Coaching support delivered face-to-face or via teleconference
- Technical assistance to support all aspects of the high fidelity implementation of the program
Please contact the program representative for more information (contact information can be found at bottom of the page).
There are no fidelity measures for Healthy & Safe.
Implementation Guides or Manuals
There are implementation guides or manuals for Healthy & Safe as listed below:
The manual includes 19 modules, each with its own lesson plan and parent workbook. There are also illustrations to use during lessons and two parent leaflets which can be used by parents to assist them when visiting the doctor or buying medications. The manual also includes a Parent Educator Guide with detailed information about the background to the program, and information on implementation of the program.
Research on How to Implement the Program
Research has not been conducted on how to implement Healthy & Safe.
Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research
This program is rated a "3 - Promising Research Evidence" on the Scientific Rating Scale based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The practice must have at least one study utilizing some form of control (e.g., untreated group, placebo group, matched wait list study) establishing the practice's benefit over the placebo, or found it to be comparable to or better than an appropriate comparison practice. Please see the Scientific Rating Scale for more information.
Llewellyn, G., McConnell, D., Honey, A., Mayes, R., & Russo, D. (2003). Promoting health and home safety for children of parents with intellectual disability: A randomized controlled trial. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 24(6), 405-431.
Type of Study:
Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 45
- Age — 22-45 years
- Race/Ethnicity — Not specified
- Gender — 40 Mothers and 5 Fathers
- Status — Participants were parents with intellectual disabilities.
Location/Institution: Not specified
Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of Healthy & Safe, a home-based intervention targeted to parents with intellectual disability to promote child health and home safety in the preschool years. Measures utilized were the SF36 Personal Interview and eight other measures were derived from the UCLA Parent-Child Health and Wellness Program. Results indicated significant improvement in parents’ ability to learn and also to remember and/or apply the knowledge and skills learned, significant gains in knowing when to call or visit the doctor, what information to provide and what questions to ask, and significant gains in parent knowledge of how to use medicines safely including such items as following directions on the medication label and disposing of old medicines. Limitations include small sample size and lack of long-term follow-up.
Length of postintervention follow-up: 3 months.
Llewellyn, G., McConnell, D., Honey, A., Mayes, R., & Russo, D. (2003). Healthy & Safe. An Australian Parent Education Kit: Parent educator guide. Sydney: Australian Family and Disability Studies Research Collaboration, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney.
Llewellyn, G., McConnell, D., Russo, D., Mayes, R., & Honey, A. (2002). Home-based programmes for parents with intellectual disabilities: Lessons from practice. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 15, 341-353.
Wade, C., Llewellyn, G., & Matthews, J. (2008). Review of parent training interventions for parents with intellectual disability. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 21, 351-366.
- Catherine Wade, PhD
- Agency/Affiliation: Parenting Research Centre
- Website: www.healthystart.net.au/index.php/for-professionals/programs-support
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: +61 3 8660 3500
- Fax: + 61 3 8660 3599
Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: October 2017
Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: June 2015
Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: March 2014