Evidence-Based Home Visiting Practices
Child maltreatment has serious implications for social work, because of the difficulties in intervening or preventing the occurrence of child maltreatment. Social work’s primary missions involve improving human well-being and human potential and assisting the vulnerable populations. In cases of child maltreatment, social worker’s need to be able to effectively recognize and respond to incidents of child maltreatment; as well as, effectively identify the causes of child maltreatment in order to treat and prevent it.
Child abuse or child maltreatment is a major public health concern. Child abuse does not only affect the family it occurs in, but also society at large through significant financial and social costs. The financial and social cost associated with child maltreatment include health care cost, human productivity losses, criminal justice costs child welfare costs, and special education costs. According to a 2012 CDC study, The Economic Burden of Child Maltreatment in the United States and Implications for Prevention (2012) found that there was an estimated $124 million total lifetime cost associated with just one year of confirmed child maltreatment cases in 2008 (Fang, Brown, Florence, Mercy, 2012, p. 156). The Pew Charitable Trusts, reported that 39% of child abuse cases occur within a child’s first four years of life, and that 80% of child abuse fatalities were under the age of four. Researchers at The Pew Charitable Trust believe that effective home visiting programs can significantly reduce these numbers and prevent the incidence of child maltreatment (Stapleton, 2012). SafeCare, an evidenced-based parenting program, has been effective in.
Additionally, Safe Care addresses the multidimensional and eco-behavioral causes of child maltreatment. SafeCare is based on the eco-behavioral model which asserts that maltreatment arises from multiple factors which include: cultural influences, societal influences, family factors, individual parent factors, individual child factors, and parent-child interaction difficulties (Edwards & Lutzker, 2008, p. 737). This is especially important to social work, because understanding the causes of maltreatment can help better recognize and respond to incidences of child maltreatment and thereby better treat and prevent its occurrence. The program has three focuses: infant and child health care, parent-child interactions/planned activities, and home safety. There are no income limits or requirements to receive services. At-risk families and families involved with child protective services are generally referred to SafeCare by child welfare agencies; community service agencies, and hospitals nationwide, except for Washington where only CPS can make referrals. Service length is 18-20 weeks, with families receiving one to two hour visits per week.
Moreover, SafeCare emerged from Project 12-Ways, a parenting program based on an ecological behavioral model for child...