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 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.

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:

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

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

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

Neil Guterman, PhD, Dean & Mose and Sylvia Firestone Professor
School of Social Service Administration
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL