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Healthy Families America (HFA)®

Meets DHHS criteria for an evidenced based model

In Brief

Last Updated

July 2016

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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.

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Program Model Description

Healthy Families America (HFA) goals include reducing child maltreatment, improving parent-child interactions and children's social-emotional well-being, and promoting children’s school readiness. Local HFA sites select the target population they plan to serve and offer hour-long home visits at least weekly until children are 6 months old, with the possibility for less frequent visits thereafter. Visits begin prenatally or within the first three months after a child’s birth and continue until children are between 3 and 5 years old. In addition, many HFA sites offer parent support groups and father involvement programs. Sites can also develop activities to meet the needs of their specific communities and target populations. For more information,please read the Program Model Overview.

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Extent of Evidence

Results of Search and ReviewNumber of Studies
Released from 1979 to 2015 190
Eligible for review 57
     Rated high 12
     Rated moderate 8
     Rated low 32
     Additional sourcesa 5

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.

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Summary of Findings



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

Favorable: 9
No effect: 34
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 2
No effect: 3
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Child Health

Favorable: 0
No effect: 9
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 5
No effect: 33
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 1

Family Economic Self-Sufficiency

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

Favorable: 3
No effect: 37
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 2

Linkages and Referrals

Favorable: 1
No effect: 16
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 1

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

Maternal Health

Favorable: 0
No effect: 10
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 2
No effect: 64
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Positive Parenting Practices

Favorable: 3
No effect: 49
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 5
No effect: 35
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Reductions in Child Maltreatment

Favorable: 1
No effect: 33
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Favorable: 14
No effect: 109
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

Reductions in Juvenile Delinquency, Family Violence, and Crime

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

Favorable: 1
No effect: 27
Unfavorable or ambiguous: 0

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.

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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 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 for more information.

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