Home visitation is a proven family support strategy that can improve maternal and child health, increase parenting skills, foster healthy child development, and prevent child abuse and neglect.
Home visiting services are most effective when delivered by trained home visitors, who are familiar with and trusted by the communities they serve.
A professional meets with at-risk families in their own familiar surroundings and evaluates the families’ circumstances. He or she then connects the family with whatever type of help they need to give their children a healthy start. These services and programs may include health care, developmental services for children, early education, parenting skills, child abuse prevention, and nutrition education or assistance.
Creating a Safe, Stimulating Environment
There is strong research evidence that these programs also yield Medicaid savings by reducing preterm births and the need for emergency room visits. Through its own research and that of colleague organizations, the BUILD Initiative is helping state partners integrate home visitation “best practices” into prevention and early intervention strategies.
For example, Ohio’s early childhood state leaders are creating a common intake and referral system across all home visiting programs and creating a plan that will allow Medicaid reimbursement for home visiting. Pennsylvania’s Parent Child Home Program provides a home visitor to help parents of high-needs children learn how to read and play with their children in a way that promotes early learning and builds a positive parent-child bond.