Safe Babies Program Evaluation

Safe Babies Program Evaluation

Project Overview

First3Years is contracting with the Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing (TXICFW) to evaluate Safe Babies, a program designed to improve outcomes for infants and toddlers in foster care by supporting their attachment needs.

Project Purpose &   Design

First3Years, formerly Texas Association for Infant Mental Health (TAIMH), began in 1980 as a group of volunteers in the infant mental health field who were concerned about the quality of care for infants and toddlers both inside and outside the home.  The agency began operating its Safe Babies program in July of 2015 in Tarrant County, Texas, with the goal of helping the child welfare system to better meet the developmental needs of young children. Safe Babies has since expanded its programming to Dallas and Harris counties.

Safe Babies seeks to lessen the long-term impact of abuse or neglect, increase the likelihood of family reunification, and ensure that developmentally appropriate and trauma-informed policies guide the care and transitions of infants and toddlers in the child welfare system. The program works directly with birth parents and caregivers (foster and kinship) in and outside of CPS visitations to strengthen coparenting relationships. Safe Babies also works with birth parents, caregivers, and professionals to create plans that focus on the needs of infants and toddlers, especially around transitions such as visitations, court hearings, and placement changes. Lastly, the program works with stakeholders in each county to achieve a more developmentally appropriate and trauma-informed child protection response. Anticipated results include better permanency and wellbeing outcomes for infants and toddlers in the child welfare system

The Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing is conducting an evaluation of the Safe Babies program which seeks to answer the following research question: Do children who participate in the Safe Babies program achieve better permanency and wellbeing outcomes compared to children who do not participate in the program?