Published: July 2017
“The 2017 Home Visiting Yearbook compiles key data on early childhood home visiting, a proven service delivery strategy that helps children and families thrive. Home visiting has existed in some form for more than 100 years, paving the way to a healthier, safer, and more successful future for families. It connects parents-to-be and parents of young children with a designated support person who guides them through the early stages of raising a family. For many, it is a bridge to becoming the kind of parents they want to be so they can unlock their child’s potential. Home visiting is voluntary and tailored to meet families where they are—from a teenage single mother in Phoenix to an expectant military couple near the Smoky Mountains to a Native American woman raising a grandchild with special needs in North Dakota.
Depending on the family’s circumstances, the home visitor might talk with them about their child’s developmental milestones, coach them in positive parenting, connect them with needed services, and even help them create a resume so they can find a job. Home visiting is cost effective, with demonstrated improvements in child health, well-being, and school readiness and parent self-sufficiency. Home visiting is offered in many communities, perhaps even yours. The 2017 Home Visiting Yearbook presents, for the first time, the most comprehensive picture available of home visiting on the national and state levels. It reveals the breadth of home visiting across America but also the gaps, where families in need are going without this vital source of support. To produce the Yearbook, the National Home Visiting Resource Center examined publicly available data, collected new data, and analyzed what we found.
- More than 18 million pregnant women and families (including more than 23 million children) could benefit from home visiting.
- More than a quarter of a million families received evidence-based home visiting services in 2015 over the course of more than 2 million home visits.
- States have long supported home visiting services by pooling limited resources. They allocate federal dollars and state funds from tobacco settlements and taxes, lotteries, and budget line items. Some foundations provide additional funding. Home visiting is provided at no cost to recipients.
- Through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), the federal government has bolstered evidence-based home visiting since 2010, investing $1.85 billion for services, research, and local infrastructure to develop early childhood systems.
- Evidence-based home visiting is now implemented in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 5 territories, and 25 tribal communities. About 40 percent of all counties have at least one local agency offering evidence-based home visiting.
- The field is moving toward professionalization of the home visiting workforce to standardize and support the knowledge and skills needed to serve families successfully.
- The evidence base for home visiting is strong and growing."