Family and Children’s Services will be able to strengthen more families at risk in the Tulsa area through in-home parenting programs with a grant from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
The grant will allow F&CS to serve more families through its SafeCare program for parents of children under five years old, and its Parenting Inside Out program for parents who are incarcerated or otherwise involved with the criminal justice system.
The grant was received through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, and will allow F&CS to serve families in the Tulsa area and northeast Oklahoma.
“SafeCare is a proven and highly effective program that teaches parents how to keep their children physically and emotionally healthy, how to make the home safe and free of hazards, and how to establish important bonds with children to improve their well-being and behavior,” said Christine Marsh, Chief Program Officer, F&CS Child Abuse and Trauma Services.
Through the SafeCare program, F&CS providers visit the home during weekly sessions and discuss how to manage a child’s difficult behavior, increasing positive time with the child, making the home safer and keeping children healthy, reducing the risk for illness or injury. SafeCare, a national model, is used in 29 states and eight countries. The model has been rigorously evaluated by the OU Health Sciences Center through randomized clinical trials demonstrating its effectiveness in supporting family stability and decreasing risk in vulnerable families.
The SafeCare program is available free of charge to all families and is administered in collaboration with the OU Health Sciences Center – Center on Child Abuse and Neglect.
“SafeCare is the result of more than 30 years of research and numerous studies and has proved highly effective at improving positive parenting skills and reducing and preventing abuse and neglect,” Marsh said.
Parenting Inside Out is a parenting skills training program for parents who may have been charged with a crime or who have or are spending time in prison. The evidence-based program provides a non-traditional approach to parent education for families separated due to incarceration, said Mimi Tarrash, Chief Program Officer, F&CS Women in Recovery program.
“Children and parents who may be serving time or released from prison are facing unique challenges due to family separation,” Tarrash said. “This innovative program addresses the special needs of these families.”
The three-year grant will allow F&CS to expand the Safe Care program to more than 150 at-risk families and the Parenting Inside Out program to 280 families over three years.
Referrals to the programs are not required, Marsh said. In the past, referrals were required by the State Department of Human Services.
“With this grant, we will not be required to receive referrals – all families are welcome to contact us to be part of the program,” Marsh said.
For more information on the Safe Care or Parenting Inside Out programs, or to enroll, contact F&CS at 918-584-4549.