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Family Check-Up® For Children

Meets DHHS criteria for an evidenced based model

In Brief

Last Updated

June 2017


Evidence of Program Model Effectiveness

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


Program Model Description

Family Check-Up (FCU) for Children is designed as a preventative program model to help parents address typical challenges that arise with young children before these challenges become more serious or problematic. The program model focuses on high-risk families, where normative challenges are more likely to lead to unfavorable outcomes, such as child conduct problems. FCU seeks to decrease children’s conduct, academic, and internalizing problems; reduce maternal depression; and increase parental involvement and positive parenting. FCU for Children is made up of three home visits with an FCU provider who has been trained in the program model. After the three home visits, the provider makes recommendations for a family-based intervention tailored to the needs of the family, such as parent management training, preschool consultation, or community referrals. For the purpose of the HomVEE review, only studies of sites that used home visiting as the primary service delivery method and that included families with children from birth to age 5 were included. For more information, please read the Program Model Overview.


Extent of Evidence

Results of Search and ReviewNumber of Studies
Released from 1979 to 2016 89
Eligible for review 27
     Rated high 10
     Rated moderate 4
     Rated low 12
     Additional sourcesa 1

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.


Summary of Findings

Outcomes Primary Outcome Measures Secondary Outcome Measures
Child Development and School Readiness

Favorable: 4
No effect: 19
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 6
No effect: 8
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Child Health Not measured Not measured
Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Not measured Not measured
Linkages and Referrals Not measured Not measured
Maternal Health

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

Favorable: 7
No effect: 2
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Positive Parenting Practices

Favorable: 18
No effect: 8
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 1

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

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

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.


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
   the same domain for at least two non-overlapping samples?
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 program 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 DHHS-Criteria-for-Evidence-Based-Program-Models/19/6">DHHS Criteria for Evidence-Based Program Models for more information.