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8 December 2023 - News

Safe Families

“Families, when safe, nurturing and reliable, are the most protective factor in a young child’s life”

Welcome to Safe Families- a common approach developed by Save the Children as a universal preventative programme for use in development and humanitarian contexts to reduce physical and humiliating punishment.  We work with children of all ages, caregivers and communities to support families to better communicate and solve problems together and encouraging adults to better understand child development and see children as rights holders with their own views and perspectives.

In this article, we'll explore the purpose of Safe Families, its target groups, gender perspective, inclusiveness, and the importance of meaningful participation.


The Safe Families sessions aim to give parents and children the skills and tools to build stronger relationships together. It gives parents a way to understand why children behave in a particular way and encourages them to view their children as rights holders with their own experiences and perspectives. It is based on building understanding of children’s development by providing warmth and structure and focuses on the importance of trust and attachment towards building parental empathy.


  • Equipping parents with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to fundamentally transform the way they care for their children.
  • Empowering children to feel valued, heard, respected and safe within their family and community.
  • Supporting communities to address harmful social and gender norms that contribute to violence in the home.
  • Strengthening equitable and gender-sensitive child protection systems to support families and prevent and respond to all forms of violence.
Target Groups

Safe families is a universal preventative programme. It targets those who have a primary responsibility for caring for and raising a child, including mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, other kinship carers, foster carers or adoptive parents, and caregivers in alternative care settings.  Recognizing the unique challenges that came with parenting during this crucial developmental stage, Safe Families provided tailored support to ensure the well-being of both parents and children.

Gender Perspective

Safe Families embraces a gender-inclusive approach. Transforming gender and power dynamics is embedded throughout as well as specific guidance on supporting both caregivers and children with disabilities. Parents and caregivers of children with disabilities are actively included in the positive parenting group sessions and where additional support is needed, referrals to more specialized services are made Caregivers and children engage in activities to identify the gendered attitudes and norms, not just around violence, but around all aspects of parenting and caregiving. The approach actively engages men and women in positive parenting group sessions, adult-child interactions, and community mobilization activities which encompass reflections on gender roles, gender equality, and caregiving roles. At the same time, girls and boys attend sessions including reflection and dialogue on gender values and gender equality.

Meaningful Participation
In the Safe Families common approach, fostering meaningful participation is pivotal for both parents/caregivers and children during sessions. This approach emphasizes the importance of empowering individuals and cultivating mutual understanding between parents and children.

Moreover, the approach underscores the significance of providing clear information to all community members, particularly newcomers, to enhance inclusivity and ensure everyone is well-informed for sessions and the whole programme is tailored for their needs. Safe Families common approach asserts that meaningful participation not only increases the quality of sessions but also fosters a sense of community and cooperation among all involved.