Home visiting for families with young children is a longstanding strategy offering information, guidance, risk assessment, and parenting support interventions at home. Services are intended to increase knowledge and positively impact behaviors by increasing the number of women accessing early and comprehensive health care and services before, during, and after pregnancy.
Services are ideally provided in the client’s home; however, they can happen in a variety of settings including the hospital, clinic, group settings (e.g., education, class), community, or any other setting a family may choose based on need, safety, or convenience. It is recommended that transportation, child care, and/or errands are NOT provided by the home visitor.
Home visiting is not provided independent of other MCH services, but is intended to complement and assist with additional services delivered by many provider types to pregnant women, infants, and their families.
Under the supervision of professional-level staff, home visitors provide in-home interventions and education to:
- Increase the use of cost-effective preventive health care services such as prenatal care, family planning, immunizations, nutrition, and well visits/care.
- Promote early entry into and ongoing access to prenatal care and education.
- Promote healthy infant feeding decisions such as breastfeeding, based on the mother and infant’s needs.
- Promote healthy maternal behaviors such as abstinence from drinking alcohol and/or using substances.
- Identify women, infants, children, and family members at risk and link them with services and supports.
- Identify solutions to health and safety risks in the environment to prevent harm.
- Improve and enhance parenting and problem-solving skills.
- Reduce costs through use of paraprofessional visitors under nursing supervision.