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Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

Home Visiting

Professional Resource Brief

Home visitation programs offer a variety of family-focused services to pregnant women and families with infants and young children. Research demonstrates that well-designed and well-run programs are effective in many ways; for example, they can have a positive effect on parenting behavior, skill acquisition, and attitude, and improve children's physical health, social competence, and cognitive and language development. They increase the likelihood that children will achieve early school success and eventual high school graduation and future employment (Pew Charitable Trusts. Expanding Home Visiting Research: New Measures of Success (2013).)

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L.111-148), enacted March 23, 2010, provides for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), which facilitates collaboration and partnership at the federal, state and community levels to improve health and development outcomes for at-risk children through evidence-based home visiting programs. This federal program requires states to perform a needs assessment to identify at-risk communities and provides grants for early childhood home visitation programs. The legislation describes the needs assessment, required program components, program evaluations, and reporting requirements.


American Academy of Pediatrics
The Role of Preschool Home-Visiting Programs in Improving Children's Developmental and Health Outcomes (AAP Policy Statement 2009); journal articles published in Pediatrics such as Nine Year Follow-up of a Home Visitation Program (Feb. 2013); and additional information and updates on home visiting (use keywords "home visit" or "home visiting" or "home visitation" in the search box on AAP's home page).

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago: Home Visitation and Maltreatment Prevention
Publications, research, and events.

Child Welfare Information Gateway: Home Visitation Programs
Links to selected home visitation programs, evaluation efforts, and additional resources, including state and local program guidelines and examples.

Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE)
Descriptions of model programs and the evidence of their effectiveness, reports on outcome domains, and profiles for implementation of the models. Presented by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families.

Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV)
Overview of this program legislated in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the Tribal MIECHV program, and the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Evaluation (MIHOPE). Information on grants and grantees, home visiting models, technical assistance, and additional resources. Presented by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

Pew Home Visiting Campaign
Highlights from annual Home Visiting Summits; legislative action; home visiting programs and state campaigns; news and events; and new home visiting reports and research studies.

Promising Practices Network: Home Visiting
Descriptions of proven and promising programs on home visiting. Project ended 2014; database still available.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Home Visiting
Search for journal articles, program results, news releases, videos and blog posts. Enter this search string, "home visit" OR "home visiting" OR "home visits" OR "home visitation" in the "Search RWJF" search box at the top right of the page.

Wisconsin Home Visiting Program
Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. Resources for parents/caregivers; list of home visitation and other family-focused programs and training opportunities in Wisconsin.

Databases for Further Research

ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)
Journal articles, research syntheses, conference papers, technical reports, policy papers, and other education-related materials. Enter "home visits" in the search box. Click on Search. Use the filters in the left navigation bar to further limit your search.

Over 22 million citations and abstracts from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles indexed by the National Library of Medicine back to the 1950s, with links to full text articles when available.

Search tips: In the search box, enter this phrase: "home visit" OR "home visiting" OR "home visitation." To narrow your search, click on "Show additional filters," choose categories such as Language, Ages, Publication dates, click on "Show," then select the filters desired, such as English, Infant, Preschool Child. You can add other terms to the search box, using AND, such as AND pregnant, AND evaluation.

Related MCH Digital Library Resources

Home Visiting: Professional Resource Brief. (May 2013). Updated: March 2020)
Authors: Olivia K. Pickett, M.A., M.L.S.; Beth DeFrancis, M.L.S.; MCH Digital Library

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.