SafeCare added for Cayuga County families

Feb 22, 2017

Cayuga Centers has launched SafeCare, a new Cayuga County home visiting program that uses trained home visitors to educate parents on home safety and organization skills, child health, and parent-child interaction skills. It will be used among parents of infants and children up to age 5 who are at-risk for child maltreatment or who have been reported for child maltreatment.

Cayuga Centers adds SafeCare to its cadre of evidence-based programs – interventions that have been proven by research studies to be effective, and whose results can be attributed to the program itself, not to other factors.

Cayuga Centers Family Resiliency Coordinator, Jessica Whitwood, expects families to be referred by Cayuga County Department of Human Services, Headstart, Early Intervention, or any others who observe an infant or child is at risk. The program is operated by two staff members - SafeCare Coach Amy Heintz, and Home Visitor Garrett Wakeham. They attended a 4-day training in program implementation, and initially will receive support from an outside consultant.

Cindi Pagan, Vice President of Community-Based Interventions, says, “It is different from our other community-based programs in that it is less crisis-oriented, and focused more on prevention, using a set curriculum with specific goals. SafeCare has a more narrowly defined age group – our workers will visit families with newborns to age 5. Our other programs reach through age 18.” 

The Cayuga Centers Home Visitor will visit weekly or bi-weekly for 60 – 90 minute sessions for 18 – 22 weeks. The program uses hands-on activities to teach skills in each of three modules: parent-child/parent-infant interaction, infant and child health, and home safety. Each module includes baseline assessments and observations of parental knowledge and skills, several sessions of parent training, and follow-up assessments to monitor change.

During the parent meetings, SafeCare home visitors explain the rationale for a particular concept, model the concept, have the parent practice the steps, and then provide feedback. When teaching home safety, for example, the Home Visitor will provide a testing tube to be sure small objects won’t be a choking hazard. Though highly structured, the program is flexible in its delivery. Home visitors will meet with parents where and when is best, and will start with the module that best fits the referral reason, for example.

SafeCare enhances Cayuga Centers’ range of services and promises to help families in Cayuga County prevent and correct factors associated with abuse and neglect, and provide a safe, nurturing environment as they raise their small children.



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