Lutheran Services of Georgia will provide SafeCare for adult drug court clients who are also parents to children ages 5 and under. SafeCare is an evidence-based home visitation program that has been shown to reduce child maltreatment among families with a history for maltreatment or with risk factors for maltreatment. Read the story below, reprinted with permission from the National Safecare Training and Research Institute. SafeCare is usually delivered to clients in child welfare settings with suspected or substantiated cased of maltreatment. But thanks to a 5-year grant from the Administration on Children and Families, SafeCare will be part of a package of treatments delivered to clients in Adult Drug Courts. Adult drug courts are judicially supervised treatment programs for people convicted of drug related crimes who are offered treatment instead of jail. Drug courts have an excellent track record of helping clients manage their addiction, but usually have few resources to address family issues.
Dr. Daniel Whitaker of Georgia State University and Dr. Wendy Guastaferro of John Jay College teamed with several agencies to receive a five year Regional Partnership Grant from ACF. The grant will allow delivery of a new package of services focused on enhancing family functioning. The services provided by the grant include exposure based trauma counseling for drug court clients, child trauma using trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy, and parenting services, using the SafeCare and Nurturing Parenting models. DeKalb County Drug Court will provide exposure based trauma treatment to drug court clients using the COPE model. Lutheran Services of Georgia will provide parenting services: SafeCare for parents with children five and under and the Nurturing model for parents of children 6 and older. The Georgia Center on Child Advocacy, will provide trauma-focused cognitive behavioral treatment to children of drug court clients. Services began in October 2013 and feedback from parents has been very positive. Several clients have reported they have begun to rebuild relationships with their children.
GSU and John Jay will also be conducting an evaluation through annual interviews, creating video-tapes of parent-child interactions, and by examining administrative data on child welfare reports and criminal recidivism. The goal of the evaluation is to determine whether the new services are helping families of drug court clients relative to families at a nearby control drug court.
Along with SafeCare, LSG offers a variety of services and programs to strengthen family relationships and build or maintain strong, healthy family units. Click here to learn more about Family Intervention Services.