Skip Navigation

Family Connects

Meets DHHS criteria for an evidenced based model

In Brief

Last Updated

October 2014

Top

Evidence of Model Effectiveness

This model meets the criteria established by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for an “evidence-based early childhood home visiting service delivery model” for the general population, but does not meet the criteria for tribal populations.

Top

Model Description

Family Connects is a universal nurse home visiting program available to all families with newborns residing within a defined service area. The program aims to support families’ efforts to enhance maternal and child health and well-being and reduce rates of child abuse and neglect. It consists of one to three nurse home visits, typically when the infant is 2 to 12 weeks old, and follow-up contacts with families and community agencies to confirm families’ successful linkages with community resources. During the initial home visit, a nurse conducts a physical health assessment of the mother and newborn, screens families for potential risk factors associated with mother’s and infant’s health and well-being, and may offer direct assistance (such as guidance on infant feeding and sleeping). If a family has a significant risk or need, the nurse connects the family to community resources. Program staff collaborate with the local department of social services and other local agencies that serve families with children ages birth to 5 years. The model began as a pilot under the name Durham Connects and is being replicated under the name Family Connects. For more information, please read the Model Overview.

Top

Extent of Evidence

Results of Search and ReviewNumber of Studies
Released from 1979 to 2013 8
Eligible for review 5
     Rated high 0
     Rated moderate 2
     Rated low 0
     Additional sourcesa 3

aAdditional sources overlap with another study and are not rated.

For more information, see the study database. For more information on the criteria used to determine the study ratings, please read Producing Study Ratings.

Top

Summary of Findings



Outcomes Primary Outcome Measures Secondary Outcome Measures
Child Development and School Readiness Not measured Not measured
Child Health

Favorable: 6
No effect: 3
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 3
No effect: 4
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Not measured Not measured
Linkages and Referrals

Favorable: 0
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 1
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Maternal Health

Favorable: 0
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 1
No effect: 2
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Positive Parenting Practices

Favorable: 0
No effect: 0
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 1
No effect: 4
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Reductions in Child Maltreatment Not measured Not measured
Reductions in Juvenile Delinquency, Family Violence, and Crime Not measured Not measured
Table Help
CLOSE

This table summarizes the effects found in research across outcome domains. Outcomes with a favorable impact are listed in green and outcomes with an unfavorable or ambiguous impact are listed in red. Outcomes that have high attrition or lack of baseline equivalence are excluded from this report.

Favorable Impact: A statistically significant impact on an outcome measure in a direction that is beneficial for children and parents. This impact could statistically be positive or negative, and is determined “favorable” based on the end result. For example, a favorable impact could be an increase in children’s vocabulary or daily reading to children by parents, or a reduction in harsh parenting practices or maternal depression.

Unfavorable or Ambiguous Impact: A statistically significant impact on an outcome measure in a direction that may indicate potential harm to children and/or parents. This impact could statistically be positive or negative, and is determined “unfavorable or ambiguous” based on the end result. NOTE: While some outcomes are clearly unfavorable, for other outcomes it is not as clear which direction is desirable. For example, an increase in children’s behavior problems is clearly unfavorable, while an increase in number of days mothers are hospitalized is more ambiguous. This may be viewed as an unfavorable impact because it indicates that mothers have more health problems, but it could also indicate that mothers have increased access to needed health care due to their participation in a home visiting program.

Primary Outcome Measure: For the HomVEE review, an outcome measured through direct observation, direct assessment, or administrative data; or self-reported data collected using a standardized (normed) instrument.

Secondary Outcome Measure: For the HomVEE review, most self-reported data, excluding self-reports based on a standardized (normed) instrument.

Please read Describing Effects for more information on these categories. Only results from studies that meet the standards for the high or moderate ratings are included above.

Top

Criteria Established by the Department of Health and Human Services

Information Based on Comprehensive Review of All High- and Moderate-Impact Studies for this Model
High- or moderate-quality impact study? Yes
Across high- or moderate-quality studies, favorable impacts in…
 
   at least two outcome domains within one sample
 
   OR
 
   the same domain for at least two non-overlapping samples?
Yes
Favorable impacts on full sample? Yes
Any favorable impacts on outcome measures sustained at least 12 months after program enrollment?a Yes
One or more favorable, statistically significant impact reported in a peer-reviewed journal?a Yes

aThis information is reported for all models, but the requirements for sustained findings and inclusion in a peer-reviewed journal only apply to models for which all findings are from randomized controlled trials.

Please read the HHS Criteria for Evidence-Based Programs for more information.

Top