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Collaborating to Evaluate Home Visiting Programs for Infants and Mothers

A mom holding a baby up.By Nancy Geyelin Margie, Ph.D., Social Science Research Analyst, Division of Family Strengthening, OPRE

The Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns (Strong Start) initiative is an effort of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to the improve birth outcomes and health of disadvantaged mothers and infants.

Home visiting is one of four approaches used in the Strong Start initiative and CMS, ACF, and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) are joining forces to evaluate this approach. A new report introduces and describes the design of the evaluation and the service delivery approaches of the two home visiting models included in the study—Healthy Families America and Nurse-Family Partnership.

This four-year evaluation will examine the effects of home visiting on improving birth outcomes and maternal and infant health and health care use. Additionally, the study will include an impact analysis on the effectiveness of the programs on the approximately 15,000 families around the country it aims to enroll as well as an implementation study to describe the programs and the services they provide.

The study will also examine the intersection of impacts and implementation to enhance understanding of the features of home visiting programs that lead to larger effects.

For more information on the study, visit the resources of ACF’s Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation and the producer of the report, MDRC.

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) studies Administration for Children and Families (ACF) programs and the populations they serve through rigorous research and evaluation projects. These include evaluations of existing programs, evaluations of innovative approaches to helping low-income children and families, research syntheses and descriptive and exploratory studies.

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