Topic: Home Visiting Programs for Child Well-Being

Scientific Ratings in this topic:

1 - Well-Supported by Research Evidence

2 - Supported by Research Evidence

3 - Promising Research Evidence

4 - Evidence Fails to Demonstrate Effect

5 - Concerning Practice

NR - Not able to be Rated

Learn more about the scale

Definition for Home Visiting Programs for Child Well-Being:

Home Visiting Programs for Child Well-Being are defined by the CEBC as any home visiting programs with a goal to improve child well-being, including physical health, development, and school readiness. Home visiting is a mechanism to provide direct support and coordination of services for families which involves direct services to the family in the home setting. While services can also be received elsewhere, the home is the primary service delivery setting. Programs vary, but components may include 1) education in effective parenting and childcare techniques; 2) education on child development, health, safety, and nutrition; 3) assistance in gaining access to social support networks; and 4) assistance in obtaining education, employment, and access to community services.

  • Target population: Parents and their children; services can begin prior to birth while the mother is pregnant
  • Services/types that fit: Home-based services with an individual or family focus that include assessment, case planning, case management, education, and/or skill building
  • Delivered by: Child welfare staff, nurse, or trained paraprofessional
  • In order to be included: Home visiting program must specifically target child well-being as a goal
  • In order to be rated: There must be research evidence (as specified by the Scientific Rating Scale) that examines outcomes directly related to child well-being such as school records, immunization record, or standardized educational, mental health, or developmental measures.
Downloadable Topic Area Summary

Programs in this Topic Area

The programs listed below have been reviewed by the CEBC and, if appropriate, been rated using the Scientific Rating Scale.

Three Programs with a Scientific Rating of 1 - Well-Supported by Research Evidence:

  • Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC)
    Caregivers of infants 6 months to 2 years old who have experienced early adversity
  • Healthy Families America (HFA)
    Parents/caregivers (adolescents or adults who are pregnant or parenting) and their children ages 0-5 years old (with no minimum ...
  • Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP)
    First time, low-income mothers (adolescents and adults, with no set maximum age) and their infants ages birth-2 years

Two Programs with a Scientific Rating of 2 - Supported by Research Evidence:

Ten Programs with a Scientific Rating of 3 - Promising Research Evidence:

  • Boys Town In-Home Family Services (BT-IHFS)
    [Boys Town In-Home Family Program]
    Families with children ages 0-17 at-risk of out-of-home placement
  • Early Head Start (EHS) – non-responder
  • Families First
    Families and referred children who are at-risk as a result of family conflict, lack of parenting skills, child abuse, childhood ...
  • Family Spirit®
    Any at-risk or young adult mother (under age 25 years) who is pregnant (ideally 28 weeks gestation or sooner) and/or has ...
  • Healthy & Safe
    Parents with learning difficulties who are the main caregivers of a child less than five years old
  • ParentChild+
    [The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP)]
    Families with two- and three-year-old children (families may enter the program with children as young as 16-months) who face multiple ...
  • Parents as Teachers (PAT)
    Parents/Caregivers who are expecting a child or have a child who has not begun Kindergarten
  • Play and Learning Strategies - Infant Program (PALS I)
    Children 5 -15 months and their families
  • Play and Learning Strategies – Toddler/Preschool Program (PALS II)
    Children 18 months to 4 years and their families
  • SafeCare®
    [Project SafeCare]
    Parents at-risk for child neglect and/or abuse and parents with a history of child neglect and/or abuse

One Program with a Scientific Rating of NR - Not able to be Rated:

Why was this topic chosen by the Advisory Committee?

The Home Visiting Programs for Child Well-Being topic area is relevant to child welfare because of the connection between early child development and well-being. Home visiting programs target at-risk families with children from birth to age five, the same population that is of interest to child welfare, and are viewed as early intervention strategies. Many county child welfare agencies in California have developed home visiting programs in partnership with their public health agencies with support from their First Five Commissions. These programs provide services and support that promote child well-being and strengthen families, with an indirect goal of preventing further involvement in child welfare services.

Danna Fabella
Director, Federal Linkages
Child & Family Policy Institute of California
Sacramento, CA

Topic Expert

Home Visiting Programs for Child Well-Being was one of new topic areas launched in 2008. Neil Guterman, PhD, MSW was the topic expert and was involved in identifying and rating any of the programs with an original load date of 2008 or earlier (as found on the bottom of the program's page on the CEBC). The topic area has grown over the years and in 2011, the topic area was revised and expanded. All of the Home Visiting Programs for Child Well-Being added since 2008 were identified by CEBC staff, the Scientific Panel, and/or the Advisory Committee. For these programs, Dr. Guterman was not involved in identifying or rating them.