Safe Families – Safe Homes

The Safe Families Safe Homes training project was designed to help Head Start/Early Head Start programs, and their community partners, address and mitigate the effects of domestic violence in the lives of young children and their families.  The collaborative training Project started in 2002 and between Glenwood Research and the University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service, Institute for Child and Family Policy. The goals of the project were to:

  • Develop a training curriculum and deliver a family-focused, interactive and integrated training approach that capitalizes on the expertise and experience of both the participants and tsafe home safe familieshe facilitator-instructors.
  • Sensitize those who work with children and/or families to the causes, dynamics and consequences of domestic violence and other abuse issues on the child and family.
  • Promote communication and collaboration between Head Start, early care, and other area service providers to result in improved local practice around domestic violence.

The project was initially implemented in Connecticut, New Mexico, Michigan, Oklahoma and Washington and has been offered in 14 states. In October of 2010, the Office of Head Start and the Division of Family Violence Prevention of Family and Youth Services Bureau launched a five state pilot project with Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Montana and So. Carolina. In July of 2012, the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence in partnership with the Head Start Collaboration Office offered a train the trainer in Albuquerque, New Mexico to expand the number of training teams in the state.

  • Safe Families-Safe Homes uses a cross disciplinary training model.
  • The curriculum is designed to be interactive and adaptive to local needs
  • An evaluation tool developed by Glenwood Research, utilizing a pre and post test design has been used throughout the project.
  • Glenwood Research maintains a database of evaluation results of all states utilizing Safe Families-Safe Homes to monitor changes in participant practice and knowledge gained to confirm and monitor curriculum effectiveness.

 Evaluations completed on Head Start and early care staff training participants demonstrated:

  • Improved staff understanding of collaborative professions
  • Increased likelihood of future collaborations with other community service providers
  • Improved participant confidence working with families experiencing domestic violence
  • Improved the way participants will work with children from families experiencing domestic violence

For more information on the Safe Families, Safe Homes Project, contact: Tracy Cooley at, or call: 207-223-5976