Being a parent is hard and none of us can do it all on our own. All of us need support to raise safe, healthy and happy kids. Fortunately, there are high-quality programs in our community — like SafeCare Colorado — that offer caring and compassionate support for families to help keep children safe, healthy and thriving even during challenging times.
SafeCare Colorado, a program of Northwest Colorado Health, is a flexible, no-cost and voluntary parent support program focused on giving parents and caregivers tools to support their young children ages five and younger. The program is available in English and Spanish.
“All parents have strengths,” said Kim Maneotis, SafeCare Colorado Supervisor with Northwest Colorado Health. “We partner with families to help them build on their strengths and recognize their personal power to help ensure family success.”
The first and most important step is establishing rapport with the SafeCare Parent Support Providers so parents feel comfortable inviting them into their home (in-person or virtually). This opens the door to a knowledge-sharing relationship that boosts parents’ confidence and eases the stress of what can be a challenging journey for anyone. SafeCare providers must meet requirements for education and all receive direct and careful supervision. On a personal level, they are kind, friendly, they don’t judge, and they work hard to build a strong relationship with you and your family.
The program then focuses on three education modules. Sessions are targeted to the age of the child, and families can choose which topic to start with based on their interests:
Parent-Child Relationship: This module focuses on proven ways to increase positive behavior and prevent difficult behavior. Parents and caregivers will learn tools to build an even stronger relationship with their child, help their child make good decisions, and create routines that make family time easier and less stressful.
Home Safety: SafeCare providers help parents and caregivers learn about and remove common hazards in the home to make their home safer for young children. Families will receive free child-proofing items to help keep young children safe such as baby gates, electrical outlet covers, and door latches.
Child Health: Parents and caregivers learn ways to prevent injury and illness, as well as what to do if a child gets sick or injured. These skills will teach how to care for children at home and when it’s time to see a doctor or get emergency help.
Families who benefit from SafeCare often face hardships related to income, housing, transportation, partner and peer support and health issues. In addition to the three modules, Parent Support Providers also connect parents to community resources that can help with basic living needs so they can focus more on their children’s health and safety.
“Parents always like learning and getting more tools for their toolboxes, but one of the most valuable parts of the SafeCare program is building the relationship between families and the Parent Support Provider,” said Maneotis. “Not everyone has a good support system and we are there to help connect families to community resources and other community partners. The entire community plays a role in protecting our kids. When families have support, and their basic needs are being met, there is less stress in the homes which decreases child abuse and neglect.”
SafeCare receives referrals from community organizations and health care providers. SafeCare referrals can also come from family members, and parents and caregivers can inquire about the program for themselves.
For more information or to make a referral visit northwestcoloradohealth.org/safecare or call 970-870-4119.