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April 2024Vol. 25, No. 3Home Visiting Programs as Child Maltreatment Prevention

Home visiting programs can equip new parents with the tools and support they need to provide safe, loving homes for their children. A 2022 issue brief from Casey Family Programs explores the evidence that home visiting programs can be effective in reducing child maltreatment.

There are different types of home visiting programs, but generally, a nurse or social worker conducts regular visits with expecting parents and parents of young children to provide information and guidance about parenting skills, maternal and child health, child development, and more. According to the brief, a strong body of evidence indicates there are many benefits to home visiting programs, including the following:

  • Preventing child maltreatment
  • Supporting child and maternal health
  • Supporting child development and school readiness
  • Improving economic self-sufficiency
  • Promoting positive parenting practices

The brief outlines several home visiting models that have specifically demonstrated a reduction in child maltreatment:

  • Health Access Nurturing Development Services
  • Healthy Families America
  • Nurse-Family Partnership
  • Parents as Teachers
  • Promoting First Relationships
  • SafeCare

While these programs differ in structure, duration, and frequency, there are some commonalities across each model. All programs teach parenting skills, help with referrals to address postpartum depression, help with navigating community services, screen children for developmental delays, and facilitate early diagnosis and interventions. The brief details specific information about each program, including its population of focus, program duration, and maltreatment outcomes.

More information is available in the brief, Are Home Visiting Programs Effective in Reducing Child Maltreatment?


Related item: The Capacity Building Center fort States recently released the new resource Programs and Services in Approved State Prevention Program Plans, which provides a snapshot of the title-IV-E-approved services and programs that jurisdictions are implementing. Data is sorted by program name, type of service, Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse rating, and location.