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Using Applied Behavior Analysis to Prevent Child Maltreatment in High-Risk Families

2 hours, 56 minutes
3.5 BACB
John R. Lutzker, PhD

By far the most common form of maltreatment in the United States is neglect . . . Side effects of neglect, short term, and long term, are actually as serious as those of physical abuse and sexual abuse. Yet, unfortunately, partly because of resources and partly because of attention, neglect gets neglected in the way of services compared to physical and sexual abuse.

John R. Lutzker, PhD 


While child abuse has reportedly declined over time, neglect has not. Yet, neglect tends to be overlooked because of cases of abuse. Victims of child maltreatment have many predictive risk factors, including increased risk of violence and suicide. There is a need for services to address neglect and reduce this risk for child maltreatment. John R. Lutzker explains how the ecobehavioral model called SafeCare helps prevent maltreatment in families with children from birth to five years old. It is a behavioral skills-based intervention program that focuses on health, safety, and parent-child interactions. Research shows its effectiveness in many ways, including improving communication skills, helping families with parents with disabilities, increasing appropriate affection, and even grocery shopping.  

Learning Objectives

What you’ll learn in the course and be able to do afterward 

  1. Given statistical information about abuse and neglect, you will be able to 
    • list three risk factors for victims of child maltreatment; 
    • define the public health model. 
  2. Given a full explanation of SafeCare and its components, you will be able to 
    • list the three key areas addressed by SafeCare; 
    • describe two tools used for parent-child interactions; 
    • discuss 3 cases in which SafeCare was effective; 
    • list six specific behaviors that were improved using SafeCare; 
    • explain when to use scaling up versus individualized planning. 


This course is delivered through Florida Tech. Clicking "Enroll Now" will take you to Florida Tech’s website where you can Add to CartCheckout, and complete the course. Come back to our website for podcasts, blogs, courses, and content.


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