Implementing Healthy Families America (HFA)® 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

Existing home visiting programs, as well as new start-up sites, can affiliate with HFA. Completing this process reflects a commitment to implementing the 12 critical elements in accordance with the HFA Best Practice Standards (described under Fidelity Standards). All sites or multisite systems interested in affiliating with HFA and using the “Healthy Families” name must complete the HFA Application for Affiliation. By the end of its third anniversary of affiliation, a site must complete the HFA accreditation process, which has three steps: (1) a site self-assessment, (2) an external peer review performed by a team of at least two HFA-certified reviewers, and (3) an accreditation decision made by the HFA accreditation panel.

Sites are accredited by HFA through PCA America based on their adherence to the critical elements and HFA Best Practice Standards (rev. 2018) that serve as the foundation for implementing the HFA model. After initial accreditation, HFA sites are required to complete accreditation every four years thereafter.

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Pre-service staff training

Before providing services, the HFA National Office requires affiliated sites to provide orientation training to supervisors, program managers, and direct service staff. The training includes information about the challenges faced by the community’s families, the local resources available to support those families, and staff safety and confidentiality.

HFA core training is a mandatory four-day seminar delivered by nationally certified HFA trainers. The trainers provide separate trainings for family support staff (home visitors) and family resource staff. Supervisors and program managers attend each training and an additional day focused on administrative, clinical, and reflective supervision. The trainings (1) prepare program staff to provide services specific to their job responsibilities, (2) integrate strategies for use with families with unresolved trauma, and (3) describe the HFA critical elements and the best practices of providing family-centered and strength-based services. The HFA National Office requires that direct service staff, and supervisors, receive this training within the first six months of employment. Program managers are required to receive this training within the first 18 months of employment.

Program managers also must participate in a three-day in-person HFA implementation training focused on how to implement the HFA model with fidelity within the first 18 months of employment.

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In-service staff training

Within 12 months of hire, supervisors, program managers, and direct service staff must complete wrap-around training on multiple topics:

  • Prenatal health;
  • Infant care;
  • Child health and safety;
  • Maternal and family health;
  • Mental health;
  • Infant and child development;
  • Parent-child relationship;
  • Child abuse and neglect;
  • Intimate partner violence;
  • Substance use;
  • Family goal planning;
  • Family issues;
  • The role of culture in parenting; and
  • Staff issues.

The HFA National Office offers affiliated sites more than 38 hours of distance learning modules and/or recorded webinars that meet all the mandatory training requirements within 3, 6, and 12 months of hire.

Supervisors, program managers, and direct service staff must participate in annual ongoing training after the first year of employment based on staff need.

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Training materials

Training materials are available through the HFA National Office.

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Qualified trainers

Nationally certified HFA trainers provide the HFA core trainings. In addition, HFA supports the development of in-state training capacity and offers a train-the-trainer process that includes annual trainer recertification. The HFA National Office coordinates the training, except in states with in-state training capacity, and makes the training available both locally and regionally.

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Technical assistance

Technical assistance is available from the HFA National Office by training and technical assistance specialists via phone, email, and on site (when requested).

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Implementation notes

The information contained on this page was last updated in April 2020. Recommended further reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the HFA National Office reviewed the information contained in this profile for accuracy on February 13, 2020. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.

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