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Healthy Families America (HFA)®

Meets DHHS criteria for an evidenced based model

Model Overview

Last Updated

May 2015


Theoretical Model

HFA is theoretically rooted in the belief that early, nurturing relationships are the foundation for life-long, healthy development. Building upon attachment and bio-ecological systems theories and the tenets of trauma-informed care, interactions between direct service providers and families are relationship-based; designed to promote positive parent-child relationships and healthy attachment; strengths-based; family-centered; culturally sensitive; and reflective. 


Model Components

HFA includes (1) screenings and assessments to determine families at risk for child maltreatment or other adverse childhood experiences; (2) home visiting services; and (3) routine screening for child development and maternal depression. In addition, many HFA sites offer services such as parent support groups and father involvement programs. HFA encourages local sites to implement enhancement services such as these that further address the specific needs of their communities and target populations.


Target Population

HFA is designed for parents facing challenges such as single parenthood; low income; childhood history of abuse and other adverse child experiences; and current or previous issues related to substance abuse, mental health issues, and/or domestic violence.

Individual HFA sites select the specific characteristics of the target population they plan to serve (such as first-time parents, parents on Medicaid, or parents within a specific geographic region); however, the HFA National Office requires that all families complete the parent survey (formerly the Kempe Family Stress Checklist), a comprehensive assessment to determine the presence of various factors associated with increased risk for child maltreatment or other adverse childhood experiences.

The HFA National Office requires that families be enrolled prenatally or within three months of birth. Once enrolled, HFA sites offer services to families until the child’s third birthday, and preferably until the child’s fifth birthday.


Where to Find Out More

Healthy Families America National Office
Prevent Child Abuse America
228 S. Wabash, 10th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: (312) 663-3520
Fax: (312) 939-8962