Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
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Implementation of an Early Preventive Intervention Programme for Child Neglect: SafeCare

Ignacia Arruabarrena, Joaquín de Paul, and María Cañas

Universidad del País Vasco UPV/EHU

Background: Child neglect is the most prevalent type of child maltreatment. Research has shown that its sequelae can be more harmful than physical or sexual abuse, particularly at early ages, supporting the importance of preventive and early interventions. This paper presents the results of the first pilot implementation in Spain of SafeCare, a home visiting evidence-based programme for the prevention and treatment of child neglect in families with children aged 0-5 years old. Method: Between 2014 and 2017, 89 families were referred from Child Protection Services of  Gipuzkoa and San Sebastian to SafeCare. Of these, 46 finished the programme. Parenting skills, depressive symptomatology, child abuse potential, parental stress, and child behavioural problems were measured at baseline and after treatment. Parental satisfaction with the programme was evaluated after treatment. Results: High levels of parental satisfaction, significant improvements in parenting skills, and significant decreases in child abuse potential, parental stress, and perception of child behavioural problems were found after treatment. Conclusions: Findings suggested that SafeCare can be useful for families with early signs of child neglect. The study also confirmed the feasibility of implementing such an evidence based programme in Child Protective Services in Spain. More studies with larger samples and experimental designs are necessary.

Implantación de un programa de intervención de prevención temprana para la negligencia infantil: SafeCare. Antecedentes: la negligencia es la tipología más frecuente de maltrato infantil. Sus secuelas pueden ser incluso más dañinas que el maltrato físico o el abuso sexual, particularmente a edades tempranas, apoyando la importancia de intervenciones preventivas y precoces. En este artículo se presentan resultados de la primera implantación piloto en España de SafeCare, un programa basado en la evidencia para la intervención con familias negligentes o en riesgo con niños 0-5 años. Método: entre 2014 y 2017, los Servicios de Protección Infantil de Gipúzkoa y San Sebastián derivaron 89 familias al programa. De ellas, 46 lo completaron. Antes y después del tratamiento se evaluaron competencias parentales, sintomatología depresiva, potencial de maltrato físico, estrés parental y percepción de problemas de conducta. Resultados: se observaron mejoras significativas en competencias parentales, potencial de maltrato físico, estrés parental y percepción de problemas de conducta, y una elevada satisfacción de los padres y madres participantes. Conclusiones: los resultados sugieren que SafeCare puede ser útil para familias con signos tempranos de negligencia. Se constató también la viabilidad de la implantación de un programa basado en la evidencia en Servicios de Protección Infantil en España. Sería necesario replicar estos hallazgos con muestras más amplias y diseños experimentales.


Impact factor 2022:  JCR WOS 2022:  FI = 3.6 (Q2);  JCI = 1.21 (Q1) / SCOPUS 2022:  SJR = 1.097;  CiteScore = 6.4 (Q1)