Post by Denise Kaspar
Healthy Families America is a nationally recognized evidence-based home visiting program model designed to work with overburdened families who are at-risk for adverse childhood experiences, including child maltreatment. HealthNet’s Healthy Families program has been providing home-based family support services for approximately eighteen years. Healthy Families America has a strong research base, which includes randomized control trials and well-designed quasi-experimental research. To date, research and evaluation indicate impressive outcomes. Reviews of more than fifteen evaluation studies in twelve states produced the following outcomes:
- Reduced child maltreatment
- Increased utilization of prenatal care and decreased preterm and low birth weight babies
- Improved parent-child interaction and school readiness
- Increased access to primary care medical services
- Increased immunization rates
The primary goal of prenatal care coordination is early entrance and continued participation in prenatal and postpartum care to reduce low birth weight, preterm labor, and infant mortality. Prenatal Care Coordinators and Community Health Workers provide home-based support services and referral to human services for pregnant women and their families at risk for poor pregnancy outcomes due to physical, social, psychological, financial, or environmental factors. HealthNet’s prenatal care coordination program, Better Indy Babies (BIBs), has been providing these services for well over twenty years.
Better Indy Babies’ goal is to decrease the incidence of low birth weight and infant mortality.
Research was completed on a similar program in New York City and it was found that home visiting programs during the prenatal period reduces the incidence of low birth weight.
Additionally, both of HealthNet’s programs increase school readiness – first through assisting mothers to have a healthy birth outcome and then assisting overburdened families to enhance parent/child interaction and improve family functioning.
HealthNet’s home visiting services help promote physical well-being and motor development, social and emotional development, approaches to learning, language development, cognition and general knowledge. Our services recognize and honor the special role that parents play in shaping the lives of their children and can help create families and communities and children ready to learn.
Click here for more information about Better Indy Babies/Healthy Families.
Together, HealthNet’s Better Indy Babies and Healthy Families programs provided more than 10,955 visits to at-risk homes in Marion County. With your help, we can do even more.