Safe at Home

A family

Evidence shows that domestic violence has profound and long-lasting impacts on children – particularly children under four – and makes it more likely that they will be placed in government care. Through a project called Safe at Home, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada aims to strengthen families experiencing intimate partner violence — and prevent violence from reoccurring so children can grow up in healthy, caring homes.

A collaborative approach to strengthening families

Research indicates that families experiencing domestic violence benefit the most from a collaborative front-line approach. With support from the Foundation, Safe at Home programs are co-delivered by local child welfare agencies and community-based organizations using an intentional, strategic approach to service delivery, national evaluation, knowledge sharing across the sector, and ultimately, scaling to communities across the country.

The project combines two leading programs — Mothers in Mind and Caring Dads — delivered respectively by Lead Partners, the Child Development Institute (CDI), a children’s mental health agency in Toronto that designed Mothers in Mind, and Changing Ways, an agency based in London, Ontario with a mission to disrupt violence and abuse.

Mothers in Mind

A 12-week group program that engages mothers and children under four, Mothers in Mind is a unique program that recognizes how the experience of violence may impact a mother’s ability to respond to her child’s needs.

Learn more about the program

Current partners:

Caring Dads

Caring Dads is a program that engages fathers — the perpetrators of violence in the vast majority of domestic violence cases — in group sessions that build trust, help them understand the root causes and consequences of their behaviour, and promote child-centred parenting. The sessions also help fathers build skills in non-abusive interactions with their parenting partners.

Current partners:

Supporting Indigenous families

Given the unique needs of many families — particularly Indigenous families, who are disproportionately impacted by the child welfare system — Safe at Home also offers funding to Indigenous led agencies and organization adopting the program to create a more culturally appropriate model. Currently partnered with Native Child & Family Services of Toronto, ON.