SafeCare is in Iowa!

SafeCare is an evidence-based behavioral parenting model shown to prevent and reduce child maltreatment and improve health, development, and welfare of children ages 0-5 in at-risk families.  It is an in-home, intensive parent training program conducted over 18 sessions. Parents who are at-risk for neglect are taught how to have positive parent-child/infant interactions, keep homes safe, and improve health decision-making. Skills are taught to parents through the following:

1.       Explain:  Provider explains and provides a rational for each behavior.

2.       Model:  Provider models each behavior (demonstrate desired behavior).

3.       Practice:  Parent practices skills.

4.       Feedback:  Provider gives positive and corrective feedback to the parent to promote skill acquisition. 

The parenting skills are generalized across time, behaviors, and settings.  SafeCare providers work with parents until they meet a set of skill-based criteria specific for each of the 3 modules that comprise of the SafeCare curriculum.  All modules involve a baseline assessment (Pre-Test), intervention (training), and follow up assessment (Post-Test) to monitor change, which makes the improved skill of the parent to be measurable and observable.  The 3 modules target skill-building in the areas most likely to increase risk to young children:  

Health Module – Targets risk factors for medical neglect. Home visitors teach parents to use health reference materials, prevent common child illnesses and injury, identify symptoms of childhood illnesses or injuries, and provide or seek appropriate treatment for a child by following a structured decision-making approach for health issues focusing on outcomes of when to treat at home, call the doctor, or visit the emergency room. 

Home Safety Module – Targets risk factors for environmental neglect and unintentional injury. Home visitors teach parents to recognize ten categories of safety hazards, and to identify and eliminate safety and health hazards. There is also a strong emphasis on parental supervision to prevent injury. 

Parent-Child/Parent-Infant Interactions Module – Targets risk factors associated with neglect and physical abuse. Home visitors teach parents to provide engaging and stimulating activities, increase positive interactions, and structure their child’s behavior to prevent challenging child behaviors.

DHS is enthusiastic about the robust implementation of this evidence-based program as it will immediately and positively impact the lives of parents and children 0 - 5 years old.

Please click Iowa SafeCare map for FSRP Services and Community Care staff are currently trained or will be trained as SafeCare providers across the state.  For more information on SafeCare, please visit the following website: