The Federal Home Visiting Program gives pregnant women and families, particularly those considered at-risk, necessary resources and skills to raise children who are physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to learn.
What Are the Goals of the Program?
From birth to kindergarten entry, MCHB, in partnership with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), funds states, territories, and tribal entities to develop and implement evidence-based, voluntary programs that best meet the needs of their communities. Goals for every program are to:
- improve maternal and child health,
- prevent child abuse and neglect,
- encourage positive parenting, and
- promote child development and school readiness.
What Does the Program Do for Participants?
By electing to participate in local home visiting programs, families receive help from health, social service, and child development professionals. Through regular, planned home visits, parents learn how to improve their family's health and provide better opportunities for their children. Home visits may include:
- supporting preventive health and prenatal practices
- assisting mothers on how best to breastfeed and care for their babies
- helping parents understand child development milestones and behaviors,
- promoting parents’ use of praise and other positive parenting techniques, and
- working with mothers to set goals for the future, continue their education, and find employment and child care solutions.
Who Are the Current Grantees and What Funding Do We Provide Them?
States, territories, and tribal entities receive funding through the Federal Home Visiting Program. Grantees must give priority to families living in at-risk communities as identified by the statewide needs assessment.
The Federal Home Visiting Program received a $372.4 million appropriation, after accounting for sequestration, for FY 2017. This funding will support grants to all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa, and awards to Indian tribes (or a consortium of Indian tribes), tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations. By law, state and territory grantees must spend the majority of their Federal Home Visiting Program grants to implement evidence-based home visiting models, with up to 25 percent of funding available to implement promising approaches that will undergo rigorous evaluation.
How Does the Program Ensure Effectiveness?
The Department of Health and Human Services launched the Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE) to conduct a thorough and clear review of home visiting program models to ensure effectiveness. Grantees are able to select one of the following service delivery models:
- Early Start (New Zealand)
- Nurse-Family Partnership
- Family Check-Up for Children
- Parents as Teachers
- Family Spirit
- Play and Learning Strategies – Infant
- Health Access Nurturing Development Services (HANDS) Program
- SafeCare Augmented
- Healthy Beginnings
How Does the Program Measure Success?
The legislation that established the Home Visiting program requires that grantees demonstrate measurable improvement in at least four of the following six benchmark domains:
- Improvement in maternal and newborn health
- Reduction in child injuries, abuse, and neglect
- Improved school readiness and achievement
- Reduction in crime or domestic violence
- Improved family economic self-sufficiency
- Improved coordination and referral for other community resources and supports
In FY2015, states served approximately 145,500 parents and children in 825 counties in all 50 states, DC, and five territories. Nearly 47% of those were new enrollees.
The number of children and parents served by the Federal Home Visiting program has quadrupled since 2012, and the number of home visits provided has increased five-fold, with more than 2.3 million home visits provided over the past four years.
Home Visiting Infographic
Download the FY2015 Home Visiting Infographic (PDF - 288 KB)