Home visiting programs aim to help low-income parents enhance their parenting skills and improve a host of early health and developmental outcomes for young children. Programs match families with professionals and paraprofessionals who visit families in their home during pregnancy and throughout early childhood. Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP) at the LBJ School of Public Affairs has an extensive body of research on the effectiveness and value of home visiting programs as an early childhood intervention.
Family Connects supports newborns and their families by functioning as a screening and triage tool to identify families in need of support and connect them with resources in the community. The goal of the program is to visit with every family in their home after the birth of a new baby. During the visit, a nurse assesses the family's strengths and needs, provides support and guidance, and also connects the family with community services based on the family’s specific needs and preferences.
The complex needs of at-risk families often extend beyond what single programs can provide in isolation and many community-level issues negatively impacting families cannot be addressed with a service-level only approach. Service coordination is an important step toward developing a comprehensive system for children and families within a community, but communities have to work beyond service coordination to implement system-level strategies that address broad policy, practice, or community infrastructure issues that impact young children or families and benefit the community-at-large.
Research indicates that evidence-based home visiting programs should benefit the families who participate in them through improvements in maternal and child health, parenting attitudes and behaviors, better cognitive and social-emotional outcomes for children, and a lower incidence of child abuse and maltreatment.
On April 13, 2017 Dr. Cynthia Osborne, Director of the Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP) at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, provided expert testimony (video below) at a Congressional Briefing in Washington, D.C. on the growing evidence of the importance of fathers in early childhood intervention home visiting programs.
Federal and state policymakers and philanthropies are increasingly emphasizing the use of evidence to drive policy decisions. One of the areas in the forefront of evidence-based policymaking is early childhood intervention strategy, home visiting.
When taking your child to the doctor for a well-child visit, the appointment normally includes a physical exam, checking your child’s growth and development, vaccinations, and asking your doctor any questions you may have. Now, the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) is recommending that doctors add another component to these visits: screening for poverty.
Home visiting programs match families with para-professionals, known as home visitors, who visit families in their home during pregnancy and throughout early childhood. Home visitors provide information on building supportive home environments, encourage positive parenting practices, and help parent’s access resources that improve child and family outcomes.