Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

October 2023Vol. 24, No. 8Family Support Programs: Promoting Race Equity and Preventing Child Maltreatment

A scoping literature review from Prevent Child Abuse America aims to understand how primary prevention family support programs—particularly evidence-based home visiting programs and family resource centers—actively promote racial equity efforts within their communities. The report Understanding How Family Support Programs Promote Race Equity and Prevent Child Maltreatment: A Scoping Literature Review details the results of the review. The report authors found that the available research shows how family support services promote equitable outcomes, support service access and engagement, and identify factors that increase service engagement. The authors suggest that this knowledge will help in building racial equity-focused primary prevention infrastructure in communities.

The research found, for example, that when home visiting programs broadly incorporated features like coping skills, empowerment, and targeting institutional disparities in health care, they showed promise in reducing racial disparities. When looking at infusing equity into home visiting programs, the research suggests considering community dynamics and complexities—including any multilevel structural barriers to engagement—or considering providing additional resources. Research also suggested that understanding the cultural variations in beliefs and home visitors sharing demographic characteristics with the families both aid in increasing engagement.

Following an evaluation of the literature review's methodology and results, the report includes recommendations to aid in advancing racial equity within family support programs focused on primary prevention:

  • Continuing research
  • Enhancing equitable community engagement
  • Continuing promotion of systems-level primary prevention
  • Enhancing initiatives to increase a diverse family support program workforce
  • Building a compendium of evidence-based best practices to further understand how family support programs use an equity lens in service delivery and advance equity in access to services and the workforce

Read the full report, Understanding How Family Support Programs Promote Race Equity and Prevent Child Maltreatment: A Scoping Literature Review, to learn more about the literature review's results and recommendations.