About This Program
Target Population: Parents/caregivers and children (0-17) who are determined by public child welfare agencies to be unsafe with their families and who have cases opened for ongoing services
For children/adolescents ages: 0 – 17
For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17
SAFE@Home is a community-based in-home safety management and parenting assistance service for families with unsafe children, who need protection. The program is designed to establish collaborative partnerships between public child welfare and community family service agencies for providing family-centered in-home service. Service delivery is intended to ensure children are kept safe in the least intrusive way possible, while also supporting a public child welfare caseworker’s ability to help caregivers make behavioral changes. SAFE@Home safety managers, employed by community family service agencies, assist in developing and managing in-home safety plans. Additionally, safety managers take a lead role in providing direct, often intensive, in-home safety services for parents/ caregivers and children. In-home safety services are individualized to sufficiently manage safety threats and provide basic parenting assistance, so children can remain home during the time that families are receiving ongoing public child welfare intervention.
The goals for SAFE@Home are:
- Increase ability to ensure a child’s safety where the family resides.
- Increase ability to keep child in their care.
- Increase hope for making changes to improve family functioning.
- Decrease time involved with child welfare system.
- Increased age-appropriate self-management and behavioral control
- Increased confidence in needs being met
The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for SAFE@Home.
The essential components of SAFE@Home include:
- Practice standards: The necessary expectations and competencies of community-based supervisors and safety managers for providing SAFE@Home.
- Detailed in the intervention manual
- Identify principles
- Describe requirements for sufficient safety management, including:
- Collaboration with public child welfare supervisors and caseworkers
- Communication with informal family supports
- Coordination of safety plans
- Interpersonal approaches for providing in-home safety services and parenting assistance
- Principles: The SAFE@Home principles are the foundation for how community-based safety managers approach their involvement with families:
- Cultural Competency
- Family Autonomy
- Child and Caregiver Rights
- Least Intrusive
- Standardized Child Safety Assessment: Public child welfare caseworkers are responsible for determining child safety using a standardized assessment process and Impending Danger Threats.
- Community-based safety managers are responsible for reassessing child safety at every planned and unplanned face-to-face contact when providing services to caregivers and children.
- Safety managers observe and intentionally seek family system information to assess safety.
- Safety Plan Determination: Uses five criteria to identify the least intrusive approach for managing child safety.
- The criteria serve as the basis for determining a family’s eligibility for receiving in-home SAFE@Home services.
- Objective focused in-home safety plans: A written arrangement that establishes how Impending Danger will be sufficiently managed using safety services.
- Safety managers collaborate with public child welfare caseworkers to develop sufficient in-home safety plans following a family’s referral to SAFE@Home.
- Safety plans are individualized to meet a family’s unique needs.
- In-home safety services are tailored to be accessible and available on days and times when a child is determined to be most vulnerable to Impending Danger Threats in a family.
- Safety managers are often responsible for managing in-home safety plans to ensure that safety services are being provided as intended. This includes:
- Maintaining contact with informal family supports who are involved in a safety plan.
- Maintaining weekly contact with the public child welfare caseworker regarding safety plan sufficiency.
- Safety Categories: Objectives for in-home safety plans establish what safety services must achieve to sufficiently manage Impending Danger Threats. There are five safety management categories:
- Behavior management: Activities, arrangements, services, etc. that control the caregiver’s behavior.
- Crisis management: Specifically concerned with intervening to prevent or stop a crisis and to mobilize problem-solving to return a family to a state of calm.
- Social connection: Reduces social isolation and seeks to provide social support.
- Resource support: Directed at a shortage of family resources and resource utilization, the absence of which directly threatens child safety.
- Separation: Creates alternatives to the family routine, scheduling, demands, and daily pressure and provides designated, temporary, or longer-term periods of time when a child is not with the caregiver which is facilitated by the safety service manager but provided resources outside of the SAFE@Home program.
- Safety Services: Specific actions, activities, and/or direct services implemented within an in-home safety plan that substitute for diminished Caregiver Protective Capacities and manage Impending Danger.
- SAFE@Home safety services include:
- Supervision and monitoring
- Stress reduction
- Behavior modification
- Friendly visiting
- Basic Parenting Assistance
- Basic Home Management
- Social networking
- Safety services are predominately provided where a family lives and occasionally in the community depending on a family’s needs.
- Safety managers often provide safety services multiple times each week (e.g., between two (2) and four (4) face-to-face contacts per week, for an average of 12 hours of direct service per month).
- Safety managers observe and interact with children/adolescents weekly, and in some family situations multiple times a week, depending on the requirements of an in-home safety plan. When interacting with children/adolescents, Safety managers:
- Assess their physical and emotional safety and needs
- Assist with meeting their basic or exceptional needs
- Monitor their interactions with caregivers
- Seek to increase their feelings of security
- SAFE@Home is involved with families for an average of four (4) to six (6) months.
- Conditions for Return: In cases where the family has been separated, conditions for return are determined. These are written statements for caregivers, based on Safety Plan Determination criteria, that identify specific behaviors and/or circumstances that must exist for a child to be reunified with their caregiver and receive in-home SAFE@Home services.
- Prior to the development and implementation of an in-home safety plan, Safety managers may be assigned to assist caregivers in meeting Conditions for Return if it is determined that a child is nearing reunification with their parents/caregivers.
- Safety managers are only assigned to assist caregivers in meeting Conditions for Return when families have children in an out-of-home safety plan. This aspect of SAFE@Home service delivery is intended to increase family stabilization so that an in-home safety plan can be implemented, and children can be reunified.
SAFE@Home directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:
- Unsafe in the home that they primarily reside
- Imminent risk of placement
- Traumatic experiences
SAFE@Home directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:
- Child maltreatment
- Insufficient caregiver protective capacities
- Unsafe, harmful, and/or dangerous adult functioning
- Volatile caregiver-child interactions
- Inability to meet a child’s basic or exceptional needs
- Social isolation
- Unmanaged stress
- Insufficient family resources
Service delivery is tailored to meet the needs of a family. Face-to-face contacts can range from 1 to 7 per week, depending on how threats to child safety are occurring in a family, and are typically between 2 and 4 face-to-face contacts per week. The average length of each face-to-face contact is an approximately an hour. The average number of hours of face-to-face contact with families is 12 hours per month.
4 to 6 months on average
This program is typically conducted in a(n):
- Birth Family Home
- Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
- Public Child Welfare Agency (Dept. of Social Services, etc.)
This program does not include a homework component.
Resources Needed to Run Program
The typical resources for implementing the program are:
- Supervisor and safety case managers
- Office space
- Cell phone
Manuals and Training
Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications
- Supervisor with a Master’s degree or Bachelor’s degree
- Safety managers with a Bachelor’s degree or Associate degree
There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.
- Action for Child Protection. (2016). SAFE@Home: A community based approach to safety management. Author.
For information regarding SAFE@Home and program implementation, including access to the program intervention manual, individuals can contact Action for Child Protection at action4cp.org
There is training available for this program.
- Todd Holder, MSW, Chief Program Officier
Action for Child Protection
phone: (505) 352-4468
Training is provided during the initial implementation of SAFE@Home. Trainings are provided either at a public child welfare agency or community family service agency. Action for Child Protection provides the initial implementation training and follow up coaching to build internal capacity of public child welfare and community agencies to provide continued onboarding training.
Number of days/hours:
SAFE@Home foundational training involves a combination of e-learn modules and traditional in-person training, for a total of 2.5 days/15 hours of learning. Supervisors and safety managers receive the same foundational training package.
There are pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for SAFE@Home as listed below:
A readiness assessment process occurs during exploration stage of implementation to:
- Examine the status of a public child welfare agency’s safety management practices compared to SAFE@Home practice standards.
- Identify influences on SAFE@Home fidelity, including public agency strengths, areas of needs, and existing capacity of community agency partnerships.
Formal Support for Implementation
There is formal support available for implementation of SAFE@Home as listed below:
Consultation and coaching are provided for developing supervisor and safety manager knowledge and skill following foundational training. Consultation and coaching, which is provided during onsite visits and video conferencing, is required to help public and private agencies move to full implementation. Formalized, post training, implementation support serves to ensure SAFE@Home services are delivered to families as intended. This includes providing guidance on challenging practice issues and difficult decisions, addressing barriers to implementation, and assessing program intervention effectiveness.
There are fidelity measures for SAFE@Home as listed below:
SAFE@Home fidelity indicators are based on the program’s intervention standards. A standardized intervention fidelity instrument is used to assess key program decisions (e.g., child safety determination, analysis of family eligibility for SAFE@Home, sufficiency of in-home safety plan). Standardized interviews are completed with public child welfare and community family service agency staff to gain further information about how services are being provided, consider practice approaches, and basis for decisions.
Fidelity Measure Requirements:
Fidelity measures are required to be used as part of program implementation.
Implementation Guides or Manuals
There are implementation guides or manuals for SAFE@Home as listed below:
The implementation guide provides a systematic framework, consistent with the principles and methods of implementation science, for achieving program fidelity.
- Action for Child Protection. (2015). Supporting the use of sufficient least intrusive safety plans in child welfare agencies: A program development toolkit. Author.
There are no studies of the costs of SAFE@Home.
Research on How to Implement the Program
Research has not been conducted on how to implement SAFE@Home.
Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research
Reyes, L. M., & Kaye, S. (2022) Impact of Safe@Home on placement and permanency outcomes: Results of quasi-experimental study. Child Maltreatment. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/10775595221132220
Type of Study:
Quasi-experimental design with matched comparison group
Number of Participants: 1,361 families
- Age — Adults: Not specified; Children: Newborn–17 years
- Race/Ethnicity — Adults: Not specified; Children: 28% African American, 27% Hispanic, 34% White, 11% Another race
- Gender — Not specified
- Status — All children in the study were determined to be unsafe by the child protective services agency and had cases opened for ongoing services.
Location/Institution: Clark County, Nevada
(To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to assess the effectiveness of Safe@Home, an in-home intervention to (1) prevent out-of-home placement for children at imminent risk of placement, and (2) minimize time in out-of-home care for children already in foster care. Using Coarsened Exact Matching, children who received Safe@Home were matched to a comparison group of children served before Safe@Home was available in their community. All children were determined by the child welfare agency to be unsafe and in need of immediate intervention. The matched samples (Safe@Home n = 510, Comparison n = 851) showed strong baseline equivalence on child age, race/ethnicity, previous history of child welfare involvement, and safety threats. All outcomes were measured using child welfare administrative data. Results indicate that children who received Safe@Home experienced a lower rate of out-of-home placements, a higher rate of permanency with a parent (sustained for 12 months after the end of Safe@Home), fewer days in out-of-home care, and a shorter time to case closure relative to children who received treatment as usual. There was no effect of Safe@Home on post-permanency outcomes of maltreatment and entry or re-entry after case closure. Limitations include a retrospective design using a historical (instead of contemporaneous) comparison group and relying entirely on administrative data.
Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: 12 months.
No reference materials are currently available for SAFE@Home.
- Todd Holder, MSW
- Agency/Affiliation: Action for Child Protection Inc.
- Website: action4cp.org
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: (505) 352-4468
Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: August 2023
Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: November 2023
Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: November 2023