Georgia State University Research Magazine recently published a feature on Drs. Dan Whitaker and Shannon Self-Brown work in the The National SafeCare Training & Research Center (NSTRC).
Child abuse isn’t always a ripped-from the-headlines case of physical or sexual violence. Sometimes it’s a parent’s inability to provide for a child’s basic needs or protect a child from harm.
It might be a young mother who can’t afford child care, so she leaves the kids in front of the TV and locks the door. Or parents who don’t understand how to interact with their child in a developmentally appropriate, positive way — maybe because their own parents never modeled such behavior.
SafeCare, a parent training program developed by emeritus professor of public health Dr. John Lutzker, helps moms and dads of young children develop the skills they need to become better parents. The National SafeCare Training & Research Center (NSTRC), housed within the Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development in the Georgia State University School of Public Health, works to bring this model to the masses by training and supporting child welfare agencies around the world.
The program focuses on building three important parenting skills. The first is positive parent-child interactions: teaching parents how to structure routines to stop young children from acting out and the importance of engaging and playing with their kids to build a strong relationship. SafeCare also educates parents about child development, so they can have appropriate expectations for their kids.