WHAT IS HOME VISITING?
Home visiting programs support expectant parents and the families of young children before childbirth and in the earliest months and years of a child's life. Participation in home visiting programs is voluntary and serves as a preventative and early intervention resource for families. In these programs, trained family support workers visit families in their homes, or wherever families are most comfortable, and provide a wide variety of services meant to help families meet their goals. Services are different in every program and for every family, but often include:
- Help understanding prenatal care and preparing for birth
- Help understanding newborn and young child health and development
- Skill-building in positive parenting practices and building a safe home environment
- Support for moms in the postpartum period, including maternal depression screening
- Child development screenings
- Referrals to programs and services that families need (such as health insurance or WIC)
WHY HOME VISITING?
Although the goals of each program varies, home visiting helps families have healthy babies and young children who receive the care they need to meet their highest potential. Some of the reasons why home visiting can be an excellent opportunity for expectant parents and young families include:
Home visiting is free and convenient
Home visiting programs are designed to be as convenient and accessible as possible for anyone who wants services. Some convenient features of home visiting programs:
So, what's the real impact?
Studies of evidence-based home visiting models find that, depending on the model, participants experience: