Implementing Family Connects Meets HHS Criteria

Implementation last updated: 2020

The information in this profile reflects feedback, if provided, from this model’s developer as of the above date. The description of the implementation of the model(s) here may differ from how the model(s) was implemented in the research reviewed to determine this model’s evidence of effectiveness. Inclusion in the implementation report does not mean the practices described meet the HHS criteria for evidence of effectiveness. Similarly, models described here may not all have impact studies, and those with impact studies may vary in their effectiveness. Please see the Effectiveness button on the left for more information about research on the effectiveness of the models discussed here.

Training to support implementation

Requirements for program certification

Designation as a Family Connects program site requires certification from Family Connects International. To be certified, program sites must adhere to all of the 13 essential model elements (described under Fidelity Standards) in the Family Connects Implementation and Policies Manual and submit the names of the specialists the program site consults with. Program sites must document model adherence at initial certification and yearly during off-site and on-site program reviews.

The start-up period leading to full certification usually takes 12 to 18 months. Initial implementation focuses on community alignment and readiness. Nurse home visits can begin after pre-service training (described under Pre-Service Staff Training). After 6 to 8 weeks of conducting home visits, Family Connects International nurse trainers conduct site visits to ensure model fidelity at each program site. After the site visits, Family Connects International nurse trainers continue to provide in-person and virtual support for each program site throughout the certification process.

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Pre-service staff training

Nurse home visitors and nurse supervisors must receive pre-service training on the Family Connects model. The training involves both in-person and remote teaching and focuses on community alignment and readiness, program reach, model fidelity, and strategies to overcome barriers to effective service delivery. The model uses a training-and-mentoring approach, which involves didactic sessions, interactive small groups, collaborative learning activities, and mentoring. The in-person training is three days long and is held at Family Connects Durham, which serves as the location for on-site nurse training. The training focuses on specific components of the home visit; the Family Support Matrix, a risk and needs assessment tool; and the Family Connects database. During the training, nurse home visitors and nurse supervisors observe home visits with Family Connects Durham nurses. The training also includes a session specific to supervision.

To be certified as a nurse home visitor, nurses must achieve scores of at least 75 percent on an assessment of adherence to the manualized protocol, and inter-rater reliability scores above 75 percent on the family risk assessment. After initial certification, nurse supervisors must assess a nurse home visitor’s fidelity and reliability in administering the home visits and assessing family risk at least quarterly.

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In-service staff training

The model offers in-service training for nurse home visitors based on a training-and-mentoring approach. Training intensity and content are based on the needs of the local population and continuing education needs of the nursing staff.

Nurse home visitors and nurse supervisors must complete continuing education activities to fulfill the requirements for an active nurse license in their state. Family Connects International recommends but does not require that nurses seek educational opportunities that address Family Connects International’s core nursing competency subject areas.

No additional information about ongoing in-service training is available.

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Training materials

A tool kit, training manual, database, and assessment materials are available to organizations that contract with Family Connects International for training and technical assistance so they can replicate the model. The materials provide information on community development, hiring and training, service delivery, and quality assurance.
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Qualified trainers

The model requires that training be provided by Family Connects International nurse trainers, who train new staff and assess their fidelity to the model.
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Technical assistance

Organizations that contract with Family Connects International receive ongoing technical assistance and support for all aspects of model implementation, including initial readiness, community alignment, home visiting delivery and quality assurance, and data collection and reporting. Sites interested in conducting formative impact evaluations can consult with researchers at the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University.
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Implementation notes

The information contained on this page was last updated in July 2020. Recommended further reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the information contained in this profile was reviewed for accuracy by Family Connects International on February 25, 2020. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.

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