U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Safe Start: Promising Practices From the Evaluation of the Demonstration Project Association for the Study and Development of Community

NCJ Number
Journal of Emotional Abuse Volume: 8 Issue: 1/2 Dated: 2008 Pages: 175-186
Mary M. Hyde; Yvette H. Lamb; David Chavis
Date Published
12 pages
This article presents findings from two evaluation activities (i.e., process evaluations and promising-practices reports) related to the Safe Start Demonstration Project (2000-2006), which has focused on preventing and reducing the impact of family and community violence on children 6 years old and younger.
Evaluation findings show that participants in the Safe Start Demonstration Project (SSDP) improved local community capacity for clinically treating children exposed to violence and their families by introducing evidence based interventions into the existing mental health system. Early indications are that institutionalizing this capacity by using a train-the-trainer model is an emerging promising practice. Four practices illustrate how Safe Start participants achieved service integration and engaged and retained families in services. One practice coordinated service providers so as to reduce duplication of efforts, facilitate services to the whole family, and create opportunities for collective problem solving. The other three practices show the importance of engaging families in services quickly after violent incidents, addressing their most pressing needs as identified and prioritized by them. Making intervention and treatment convenient in both time and location helps keep families engaged in services. Also a central part of working with families experiencing violence is protecting them from further coercion. Several SSDP demonstration sites have launched successful social marketing and public education campaigns; and some sites have focused training efforts on systems with the authority to influence other systems serving vulnerable families. The Safe Start National Evaluation Team used several evaluation activities to identify and understand the project's impact on children exposed to violence and their families, the systems with which they interacted, and the communities in which they lived. Promising practices had to meet criteria for standards of evidence. Analyses of three National Evaluation Team reports produced the findings reported in this article. 3 tables and 13 references