Healthy Families America [Home Visiting for Child Well-Being] (HFA)

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Scientific Rating:
Well-Supported by Research Evidence
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Healthy Families America [Home Visiting for Child Well-Being] (HFA) has been rated by the CEBC in the area of: Home Visiting Programs for Child Well-Being.

Target Population: Overburdened families who are at-risk for child abuse and neglect and other adverse childhood experiences; families are determined eligible for services once they are screened and/or assessed for the presence of factors that could contribute to increased risk for child maltreatment or other poor childhood outcomes, (e.g., social isolation, substance abuse, mental illness, parental history of abuse in childhood, etc.); home visiting services must be initiated either prenatally or within three months after the birth of the baby

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 5

Brief Description

Healthy Families America (HFA) has been rated by the CEBC in both Home Visiting topic areas. Please click here to see the HFA entry and rating in the Home Visiting for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect topic area.

HFA is a home visiting program model designed to work with overburdened families who are at-risk for child abuse and neglect and other adverse childhood experiences. It is designed to work with families who may have histories of trauma, intimate partner violence, mental health issues, and/or substance abuse issues. HFA services are offered voluntarily, intensively, and over the long-term (3 to 5 years after the birth of the baby).

HFA is theoretically rooted in the belief that early, nurturing relationships are the foundation for life-long, healthy development. Building upon attachment, bio-ecological systems theories, and the tenets of trauma-informed care, interactions between direct service providers and families are relationship-based; designed to promote positive parent-child relationships and healthy attachment; strengths-based; family-centered; culturally sensitive; and reflective.

The HFA model is based upon 12 Critical Elements. These Critical Elements are operationalized through a series of standards that provide a solid structure for quality, yet offer programs the flexibility to design services specifically to meet the unique needs of families and communities.

HFA’s Vision: All children receive nurturing care from their family essential to leading a healthy and productive life.

HFA’s Mission: To promote child well-being and prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation’s children through home visiting services.

Program Goals:

The goals of Healthy Families America (HFA) are:

  • Build and sustain community partnerships to systematically engage overburdened families in home visiting services prenatally or at birth
  • Cultivate and strengthen nurturing parent-child relationships
  • Promote healthy childhood growth and development
  • Enhance family functioning by reducing risk and building protective factors

Contact Information

Name: Cydney M. Wessel, MSW
Agency/Affiliation: Healthy Families America at Prevent Child Abuse America
Phone: (312) 218-7414

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: August 2016

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: October 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: June 2009