State-Led Evaluations of Family Engagement: The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program

September 5, 2017
Topics:
Home Visiting
Projects:
Design Options for Home Visiting 2, 2016 - 2021 | Learn more about this project
Types:
Reports
State-Led Evaluations of Family Engagement: The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program
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  • File Size 218kb
  • Pages 5
  • Published 2017

Introduction

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) supports voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services for at-risk pregnant women and parents with young children up to kindergarten entry. States and territories receiving funding from MIECHV are encouraged to conduct rigorous evaluations. This brief identifies the types of questions awardees have about family engagement and provides examples of state-led evaluations.

Family engagement in home visiting is the commitment of caregivers and pregnant women to:

  1. initially enroll in home visiting services;
  2. engage during home visits, and;
  3. complete the intended number of home visits across the intended length of program enrollment.

Engagement is essential for achieving positive outcomes for families. However, engaging at-risk families is challenging. More studies are needed across home visiting models to understand best practices for promoting engagement

Key Findings and Highlights

Twenty-five MIECHV awardees funded between FY 2011 and FY 2015 chose to evaluate family engagement. State-led evaluations of family engagement focus on three key topics:

  • Family and community characteristics associated with engagement
  • Best practices and strategies to promote engagement
  • Father engagement

The brief provides state examples of research questions and methodologies used to address these three questions. Examples were selected to reflect various methodologies, regions, settings, and evidence-based models. Evaluations from Alabama, Georgia, Oregon, Arkansas, California, Alaska, Vermont, Connecticut, and West Virginia are highlighted. Their work suggests that multiple factors may influence engagement, including family characteristics, local program supervision practices, and collaboration at the state and local levels. The findings may have implications for refining training, professional development, and curricula to more effectively engage families.

Last Reviewed: December 18, 2018