Establishing Smoke-free Homes With Families Involved in Child Protective Services: Effectiveness-implementation Trial of an Integrated Program (SFSC)

  • End date
    Dec 28, 2026
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Georgia State University
Updated on 28 October 2022
Accepts healthy volunteers


Smoke Free SafeCare (SFSC) is a proposed braided intervention consisting of two evidence-based interventions: Some Things are Better Outside (STBO), aimed at promoting smoke free home rules, and SafeCare, aimed at reducing child maltreatment and improving mother and child outcomes. STBO is effective in creating smoke free homes and reducing second-hand smoke in low-SES (socioeconomic status) households. SafeCare is an effective parent training program that is broadly disseminated in child protective services in the United States. SafeCare is a promising mechanism to effectively increase the reach of STBO to reduce SHS (secondhand smoke) exposure in families with documented high rates of tobacco use and children with cumulative risk for negative health outcomes.


Longitudinal studies have found beneficial effects of prevention and intervention efforts for children exposed to poverty and other adverse experiences on long-term health and a range of social and psychological outcomes. Evidence-based intervention programs exist for smoke-free homes and for child maltreatment risk. However, to our knowledge, no programs jointly target SHS (secondhand smoke) exposure and maltreatment risk, despite the evidence that these risk factors often co-occur for children living in low-SES households.

Some Things are Better Outside (STBO) is a brief intervention that is highly effective in promoting adoption of smoke-free home rules among low-SES households. Three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) documented significant intervention effects, with 40.0 to 62.9% of clients reporting a smoke-free home when reached for follow-up at 6 months post-baseline. Self-reported smoke-free homes were validated by air nicotine at 3-months post-baseline. STBO was also effective in a dissemination trial conducted with five 2-1-1 agencies across multiple states. The six-week intervention was designed to be easy to deliver, consisting of three mailings of print materials and a 15-20 minute coaching call.

SafeCare is a brief parenting intervention that is highly effective in reducing child maltreatment perpetration and improving behavioral outcomes for Child Protective Services-involved (CPS-involved) parents of young children (0 to 5 years) as the result of child physical abuse or neglect (the two most common forms of substantiated maltreatment). SafeCare is delivered in the home over 18-weeks, and the curriculum focuses on promotion of positive parenting skills, home safety, and child health. SafeCare is disseminated through the National SafeCare Training and Research Center (NSTRC) at Georgia State University (GSU), directed by Self-Brown (MPI) and Whitaker (Co-I).

In considering the best approaches for targeting SHS, it is imperative to consider how to integrate interventions with documented success for improving smoke-free rules and with high levels of parent engagement (which STBO has consistently demonstrated), into effective parenting intervention programs, such as SafeCare (which has also been demonstrated to be highly engaging). Thoughtful integration would ensure the maintenance of active ingredients for both programs, and parent engagement.

The goal of Smoke Free SafeCare is to conduct an effectiveness-implementation hybrid trial type 1 of the SFSC intervention for parents with substantiated maltreatment. This braided intervention will be compared to standard SafeCare.

The study aims are as follows:

  1. To conduct an effectiveness-implementation hybrid trial type 1.
  2. Compare SFSC to standard SafeCare on the addition of a full smoking ban in the home, and maintenance and stability of the smoking ban.
  3. Understand impact and sustainability of SFSC on parenting outcomes.
  4. Examine the variability in SFSC effects across sites and client characteristics.

This project will implement a mixed methods approach to gain insight about the perceived feasibility and impact of SFSC with mothers who report at least two risk factors at initial screening that are commensurate with child maltreatment perpetration risk. Understanding whether there is additive benefit to the integration of these programs will inform policy for best practices of programs serving low-SES families, and will further establish a structured approach for systematically integrating evidence-based programs for populations who have cumulative risk.

Condition Child Maltreatment, Smoking Behaviors
Treatment Smoke Free SafeCare, Standard SafeCare
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05000632
SponsorGeorgia State University
Last Modified on28 October 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

SafeCare providers in this study must 1) have completed the SafeCare workshop and passed field Certification (9 sessions of SafeCare delivered with fidelity according to the SafeCare Fidelity Checklist); 2) be employed at an accredited SafeCare agency in a target state based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adult smoking data or prior SafeCare research documenting high smoking rates
Mother Inclusion Criteria
Mothers in this study must meet the following inclusion criteria to participate: 1) Mother referred to a SafeCare Provider study participant as the result of a child protection case; 2) Mother reports in-home smoking behavior by herself or another person (person must reside in the home 3 or more nights a week) 3) Mother must be aged 18 or older and 4) must be a parent to a child between the ages of 0 and 5

Exclusion Criteria

SafeCare providers will be excluded if they have planned for significant employment leave, resignation, or promotion during the study period
Mother Exclusion Criteria
We will exclude those who 1) Report that no one smokes in the home; 2) Demonstrate an inability to understand their responsibilities as outlined in the consent form. This will be determined as the research staff verbally go through the consent form with the mothers. If mothers do not understand the consent form and subsequent procedures, they will be excluded
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