Home Visiting Toolkit

Home visitation programs offer a variety of family-focused services to pregnant mothers and families with infants and young children. Research demonstrates that well-designed and well-run programs are effective in many ways, such as in improving parenting skills and the intellectual development of young children at risk (AAP Pediatric Care Update, 2009) as well as reducing child abuse and maternal behavior problems resulting from drug and alcohol use (Zero to Three fact sheet Home Visiting: Supporting Babies and Families Where They Live, January 2007).

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L.111-148), enacted March 23, 2010, provides for maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting programs in the states. This important federal program requires states to perform a needs assessment to identify at-risk communities and provides grants for early childhood home visitation programs. The legislation describes the needs assessment, required program components, program evaluations, and reporting requirements. Also see the Center for Law and Social Policy’s Detailed Summary of Home Visitation Programs in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010).

Web Sites

American Academy of Pediatrics
The Role of Preschool Home-Visiting Programs in Improving Children’s Developmental and Health Outcomes (AAP policy statement February 2009), Home Visiting Programs to Improve Children’s Developmental and Health Outcomes (AAP pediatric care update 2009). Also use the search box on the home page for articles and other information (use keywords “home visit” or “home visiting” or “home visitation”).

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago: Home Visitation and Maltreatment Prevention
Publications, research, and events.

Child Welfare Information Gateway: Home Visitation Programs
Links to selected home visitation programs, evaluation efforts, and additional resources, including state and local program guidelines and examples.

Future of Children
The Role of Home-Visiting Programs in Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect (Fall 2009).

National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP)
State Based Home Visiting: Strengthening Programs Through State Leadership (March 2009 report) and online Webinar on state-based home visiting, including downloadable slides.

Pew Home Visiting Campaign
Public education and advocacy campaigns in Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington; news; research; and events. Society for Research in Child Development. Recent analyses include

Promising Practices Network: Home Visiting
Descriptions of proven and promising programs on home visiting.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Book chapters, grant result reports, and journal articles. Enter this search string into the search box: "home visit" OR "home visiting" OR "home visits" OR "home visitation."

Supporting Evidence-Based Home Visiting
A program of the Administration for Children and Families’ Children’s Bureau to support the infrastructure needed for the widespread adoption, implementation and sustaining of evidence-based home visitation programs. The site provides information on the activities of 17 grantees under this program, including plans for evaluation of the program, a list of home visiting models being replicated, resources, and a newsletter.

Wisconsin Home-Visitation Programs
Documents on program development, core competencies, supervision, and program evaluation; links to many resources for parents; list of home visitation and other family-focused programs and training opportunities in Wisconsin.

Model and Promising Programs

Healthy Families America
Guidelines on developing programs, directory of state contacts, fact sheets on successful program elements, evaluation results, innovative strategies, and training information.

  • Emerging issues in maternal and child health series meeting archive: Healthy Families America.
    Powerpoint presentation and related documents.

Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY)
A parent involvement, school readiness program that helps parents prepare their three, four, and five year old children for success in school and beyond, with home visitors from the community and group meetings supervised by a professional coordinator. Includes information about the HIPPY model, research, and starting a program. HIPPY operates in the United States and several other countries.

National SafeCare Training and Research Center
Evidence-based home visitation program shown to reduce child maltreatment among families with a history of maltreatment or with risk factors for maltreatment. Describes the SafeCare model, includes resources on training and research, and video testimonials.

Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP)
Nurse home visiting model program for low-income, first-time parents during pregnancy and until the infant turns two years old. Provides information about the program for nurses, moms, communities, and supporters; a map of agencies that have adopted the NFP model; public policy updates; and research results.

  • Emerging issues in maternal and child health series meeting archive: Nurse Family Partnership.
    Powerpoint presentation and related documents.

Parent-Child Home Program
A research-proven home visiting model that prepares young children for school success by increasing language and literacy skills, enhancing social-emotional development, and strengthening the parent-child relationship. Includes program news, events and training, research, and resources for parents and practitioners.

Parents as Teachers National Center
National parent-education and family-support program serving families throughout pregnancy until their child enters kindergarten, usually at age 5. Provides professional and consumer materials including curricula, trainings, standards, evaluation tools, parenting tips, materials for adolescent parents, suggested books for young children, and a directory of programs by state.

  • Emerging issues in maternal and child health series meeting archive: Parents as Teachers. Powerpoint presentation and related documents.

Triple P (Positive Parenting Program)
Evidence-based program for the prevention of social, emotional and behavioral problems in childhood, the prevention of child maltreatment, and the strengthening of parenting and parental confidence. Includes information about training for organizations and practitioners, self-help and parent resources. The program materials have been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, and Malay and used by a diverse range of cultural groups in the United States and internationally.

Databases for Further Research

ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)
Journal articles, research syntheses, conference papers, technical reports, policy papers, and other education-related materials. Enter the descriptor “home visits” in the search box, and click on Advanced Search to limit by date or free full-text availability.

Over 18 million citations and abstracts from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles indexed by the National Library of Medicine back to the 1950s, with links to full text articles when available.

Search tips: In the search box, enter this phrase: "home visit" OR "home visiting" OR "home visitation"; click on Limits and select English (or other desired language); then click on the search button. To focus on home visits with pregnant women, add AND pregnant to the search box. To focus on home visits with young children, click on Limits and select All Infant birth to 23 months plus Preschool Child or another age range. To retrieve only more recent items, click on Limits and select a desired date range. Other useful terms are "child health services", "maternal health services" and "maternal child nursing."

Authors: Olivia K. Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., Beth DeFrancis, M.L.S.; MCH Library
April 2010