Background: A consistently demonstrated overlap exists between the occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment, yet these issues are historically addressed by distinct systems and programming. The randomized control trial pilot study presented in this article adapts, implements, and tests a new approach for addressing family violence for Latinx families with co-occurring risk for domestic violence and child maltreatment. In doing so, this pilot study addresses the clear need for collaboration between the two fields and focuses on Latinx families, who often face specific challenges regarding seeking and receiving needed services. The primary aim of the current study is a pilot implementation of SafeCare+®, an evidence-based parenting curriculum (SafeCare®) augmented with a healthy relationships curriculum (SafeCare+®). The objectives are a reduction of family violence, improved communication, and a healthy home environment for children in Latinx families with co-occurring domestic violence and child maltreatment.
Methods: This protocol outlines a feasibility, randomized control trial to examine the potential efficacy of SafeCare+. The pilot study is divided into two phases. Components of phase one involve developing a detailed implementation and evaluation plan, including a community needs assessment, determining screening and outcome measures, and assuring all components are culturally appropriate for the target population. Phase two implements the randomization of parents, who are involved in the child welfare system and referred for in-home parenting services, into SafeCare+ or SafeCare as usual. Participants complete assessments regarding mental health, provider-parent relationship, interpersonal violence experiences, and fidelity to the intervention. Analyses will focus on improvement on target outcomes for the intervention group, as well as comparison to the control group.
Discussion: This study will provide evidence on the feasibility and potential effectiveness of an early intervention program aimed at improving communication skills and mental health and reducing incidents of violence for Latinx parents who are involved with the child welfare service system. The findings of the study will inform the decision to progress to a full scale, definitive randomized control trial to test the effectiveness of an intervention, delivered as part of home visitation, for improving outcomes for families with histories of domestic violence.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03041558; registered 2 February, 2017-retrospectively registered.
Keywords: Child welfare; Domestic violence; Early intervention; Feasibility studies; Home visitation; Pilot projects.
© The Author(s) 2020.