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Soc Sci (Basel). 2014 Aug 15;3(3):427-440.

Technology-Based Innovations in Child Maltreatment Prevention Programs: Examples from SafeCare®

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1
School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.

Abstract

Each year, hundreds of thousands of children in the U.S. are victims of child maltreatment. Experts recommend behavioral, skill-based parent training programs as a strategy for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. These programs can be enhanced using innovative technology strategies. This paper presents a brief history of the use of technology in SafeCare®, a home visiting program shown to prevent child neglect and physical abuse, and highlights current work that takes a technology-based hybrid approach to SafeCare delivery. With this unique approach, the provider brings a tablet computer to each session, and the parent interacts with the software to receive psychoeducation and modeling of target skills. The provider and parent then work together to practice the targeted skills until mastery is achieved. Initial findings from ongoing research of both of these strategies indicate that they show potential for improving engagement and use of positive parenting skills for parents and ease of implementation for providers. Future directions for technology enhancements in SafeCare are also presented.

KEYWORDS:

SafeCare; child maltreatment; child welfare; evidence-based programs; parenting; technology

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