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Twenty-year-old Kelly*, who identifies as Aboriginal, is five months pregnant with her first child. Kelly can’t wait to become a mum, but like many new parents-to-be, is a little nervous about the journey ahead.

At a young age, Kelly entered the out-of-home care system and spent many years moving between different homes. Due to this, she has limited family and community support to rely on as she enters motherhood.

Kelly also has a history of complex trauma, mental health challenges, substance use, and family violence. As with many young parents, but especially because of her lived experience, Kelly hopes for her child to have a safe and happy childhood, free from violence.

Early intervention parenting program builds strong relationships and safe homes

Becoming a first-time parent is daunting for most, so Kelly knew she needed extra support to prepare for motherhood. She reached out to our SafeCare program.

SafeCare is a home-based, parent training program designed to improve the safety, health, and developmental outcomes of young children. The early intervention program is typically delivered to families with young children who are at risk for child maltreatment or developmental delays. SafeCare is a structured, evidence-based program that is typically delivered over a period of several weeks or months. The program is designed to provide parents with the knowledge, skills, and support they need to create a safe and nurturing environment for their children.

SafeCare is one of the few programs that support families during pregnancy – most others don’t kick in until after the child’s birth or very late on in the pregnancy. We know that the earlier we can support young parents, the better the outcomes for both the child and the parent.

Courtney Schuurman Early Years Evidence-Based Programs Coordinator

SafeCare teaches new parents more than practical skills

Throughout the program, Kelly will learn practical parenting skills and knowledge, covering three key areas:

  • Health – physical care, such as how to identify childhood illnesses and injuries and care for a sick child at home.
  • Safety – physical safety in the home, such as ensuring your home is hygienic and free from hazards, and the importance of supervising children.
  • Parent-child interactions – how to build connection, affection and a loving relationship through play.

Importantly, the parent-interaction module focuses on nurturing and attachment. Research has shown that by forming a deep emotional bond and forging a strong attachment with her child, Kelly is setting her child up to thrive.

But SafeCare does much more than teach new parents practical skills – it empowers parents to be confident in their new role and to build strong and healthy relationships with their children.

SafeCare’s structured approach will support Kelly to gain a solid foundation of knowledge and skills, so she can competently and confidently care for her new baby. And, importantly, she’ll feel equipped to raise a happy and thriving child.


*Names changed to protect the privacy of the children, young people and families we support

Support proactive, early intervention care for young people, like Kelly

Supporting children and families at an earlier stage can create safe homes and connected communities, helping generations of families lead happy, healthy lives. Where there is a risk of children or young people entering the care system, we help keep families together safely through early intervention programs, like SafeCare.

Help us continue to provide proactive care for children, young people and families who have experienced abuse, neglect and trauma. Donate today to support young people, like Kelly, who are striving to build a bright future for themselves and their children.