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Awarded Grant to Prevent Violence and Violence-Related Injury

Implementing SafeCare to Prevent Child Maltreatment in Underserved Populations: A Study of Training Models

Award Type: CDC-Public Health Research Awards (OPHR)
FOA Number: RFA-CD-08-001 Elimination of Health Disparities through Translation Research Award (R18)
Project Period: 09/30/2008 – 09/29/2011
Application/Grant Number: CE001479A
Principal Investigator: Lutzker, John
Georgia State University Research Foundation, Inc.
Post Office Box 3999
Atlanta, GA 30302
Phone: (770) 841-0522


This study will examine the impact of enhanced versus standard training for trainers and coaches in the implementation of a train-the-trainer (TTT) approach of the SafeCare parenting program. The research study will be layered on a training contract being developed between NSTRC and the Georgia Department of Human Resources to provide SafeCare training to DHR staff. With funds provided by the research grant, we will increase the number of DHR trainers and coaches trained by NSTRC as DHR begins statewide implementation of SafeCare. We will randomly assign half of trainees to the standard training model of training, and half to an enhanced model of training. The standard training model includes workshop training, practice, and in-vivo skill demonstration. The enhanced training model will consist of the standard training plus coaching or consultation from NSTRC trainers for up to six months. NSTRC trainers will work with trainers and coaches assigned to the enhanced model by observing them and providing feedback on their performance to ensure training and coaching is delivered with fidelity and competence. The primary outcomes of the study are fidelity- and competence- related measures for trainers and coaches and the home visitors they train/coach, and engagement measures for the families served. The primary analyses will focus on understanding whether the enhanced training model results in (1) greater fidelity and more competent provision of services for trainers, coaches, and home visitors, and (2) greater engagement and retention of families. We will also examine how a variety of individual and organizational characteristics influence fidelity and competence, alone or in combination with training. Finally, because of the increased cost of the enhanced training model, we will conduct an economic analysis to calculate the incremental benefits in fidelity, competence, and engagement/retention afforded by the more costly enhanced training.

Public Health Relevance

Successful prevention and intervention of child maltreatment requires the implementation of evidence-based practices in child welfare systems and prevention programs. Reducing disparities requires a focus on implementation of evidence-based programs for problems that disproportionately affect vulnerable populations, and attention to how those populations receive those programs. As the state of Georgia begins a statewide rollout of the SafeCare parent training program, this study will compare two training models for SafeCare(R) with regard to how they influence trainer and coach fidelity and competence, and provider fidelity and competence and client engagement.