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Project 12-ways

Scientific Rating:
Not able to be Rated
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
See descriptions of 3 levels

Note: The Project 12-ways program was not responsive to the CEBC's inquiry. The following information was obtained from publicly available sources.

About This Program

Project 12-ways has been reviewed by the CEBC in the area of: Interventions for Neglect, but lacks the necessary research evidence to be given a Scientific Rating.

Target Population: Not Specified

Brief Description

Project 12-ways is a comprehensive program aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect. Families are referred to the program through the Illinois Department of Child Abuse and Neglect. Participating families receive training in parent-child interaction, structuring daily routines, health maintenance and nutrition, stress reduction, home safety and cleanliness, infant care and development, teaching basic childhood skills, problem solving, and money management. Parents also receive self-esteem and assertiveness training in resolving conflicts in a positive way. Assistance in obtaining employment and access to community services is also provided. Project 12-ways is the precursor to SafeCare, which is also listed under this topic area.

Education and Training Resources

Publicly available information indicates there is some training available for this program.
See contact info below.

Training Contact:
  • Dr. Brandon F. Greene
    phone: (618) 453-8278

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

Child Welfare Outcomes: Not Specified

Show relevant research...

Lutzker, J., & Rice, J. M. (1987). Using recidivism data to evaluate Project 12-ways: An ecobehavioral approach to the treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect. Journal of Family Violence, 2(4), 283-290.

Type of Study: Non-matched comparison group
Number of Participants: 352 intervention families, 358 comparison group families


  • Age — Not Specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not Specified
  • Gender — Not Specified
  • Status — Families who are currently or have been referred to Child Welfare services.

Location / Institution: Illinois

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Families who had received the Project 12-ways intervention were compared to families in the Illinois State Central register of referrals for child and abuse and neglect who had not received the intervention. With the exception of one comparison year in which they were equivalent, recidivism rates were significantly lower for 12-ways families than for those who had not received the intervention. The authors note that the size of the difference does grow smaller as the time from completion of the intervention increases, suggesting that a program of "booster services" may be necessary to maintain the best effect.

Length of post-intervention follow-up: 1, 2, and 3 years.

Wesch, D., & Lutzker, J. R. (1991). A comprehensive 5-year evaluation of Project 12-ways: An ecobehavioral program for treating and preventing child abuse and neglect. Journal of Family Violence, 6(1), 17-35.

Type of Study: Non-matched comparison group
Number of Participants: 232 Intervention families, 232 comparison group families.


  • Age — Not Specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — 89% White, 11% Black, remainder (3 families) American Indian or Asian.
  • Gender — Not Specified
  • Status — Families referred to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS)

Location / Institution: Illinois

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Families receiving Project 12-ways services were compared to families receiving routing IDCFS services. Samples were largely equivalent, but differed in reason for initial referral: More 12-ways families were first referred for abuse, neglect or sexual abuse than were comparison families. Groups were compared on rates of reported child abuse and neglect, placement of children outside the home, and termination of parental rights. Analysis showed that both groups experienced declines in rates on the measured variables. 12-ways families showed a significantly larger drop in abuse levels during treatment. These families also showed a constant rate of recidivism across conditions, while the comparison group showed an increase.

Length of post-intervention follow-up: None.


Lutzker, J. R., Bigelow, K. M., Doctor, R. M., Gershater, R. M., & Greene, B. F. (1998). An ecobehavioral model for the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. In J. R. Lutzker (Ed.), Handbook of child abuse research and treatment (pp. 239-266). New York, NY: Plenum.

Contact Information

Name: Dr. Brandon F. Greene
Agency/Affiliation: Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
Website: project12-ways.siu.edu
Phone: (618) 453-8278

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2013

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: April 2008

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: April 2008