The North Carolina Landscape Study of Early Home Visiting Programs, will provide the first in-depth analysis of the field of maternal and child health home visiting (HV) in its current form in North Carolina. Despite the increased awareness of the health, family, and educational benefits as well as cost savings that result from broad scale-up of HV programs, the public health impact of HV has been limited due to fragmented prenatal and early childhood systems, disparate funding streams, and the need to better match families with programs. However, leaders in the field of home visiting are certain that a tipping point is within reach. A universally-available, comprehensive continuum of early parent and childhood services is possible. A better understanding of the field and the services provided to families is absolutely critical to future policy planning and to identify strategies to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.
Knowledge of the home visiting landscape in North Carolina is currently limited. What we know is limited to single reports of individual program models and reports to funders. The only population-level study of HV service use in our state, based on a 2012 nationally-representative survey, reported that approximately 85,703 families, or about 17% of the state 0-3 years child population received services. The gap between need and access to EHV services is large as our state deals with high infant mortality and morbidity and low performance in reading in 3rd grade. Bridging this gap is challenging without in-depth knowledge about the when, where, what, who, and how of HV services in North Carolina.
Our team at the Jordan Institute for Families in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, led by Paul Lanier and Sarah Verbiest, proposes to bridge this gap. The challenges in North Carolina are mirrored across the country. As such, this proposal represents an opportunity to make North Carolina a national model. Given the increasing recognition of EHV as part of a larger early childhood service network, the field of home visiting can be strengthened by considering four principles of network leadership: (1) mission, not organization; (2) node, not hub; (3) humility, not brand; and 4) trust, not control. Click here to read more. We will incorporate these same principles in this landscape study and in the knowledge we disseminate.
This work is funded by the Winer Family Foundation, The Duke Endowment, the John Rex Endowment, and the ChildTrust Foundation. It is being led by Drs. Paul Lanier and Sarah Verbiest at the Jordan Institute for Families at the UNC School of Social Work with key support from Katherine Bryant at the UNC Center for Maternal and Infant Health and Gerard Chung, a doctoral student at the UNC School of Social Work. The project began on January 1, 2018 with a targeted report completion date of June 31, 2018. A mixed methods design leveraging multiple data sources will be used to provide a comprehensive statewide landscape analysis. Data sources will include; 1) existing data from program reports or published literature from EHV models, 2) a project developed statewide survey, and 3) key informant interviews. Findings will be reported using geographic information system modeling, social network analysis and cost-benefit forecasting. Partners will be convened to review and interpret the results leading to recommendations for next steps in home visiting for North Carolina’s families. Questions? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Home Visiting Resource Center offers many valuable resources – to our project and your work as well. Click here to access their 2017 Home Visiting State by State report.