Implementing Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY)® Meets HHS Criteria

Last updated: August 2020

This report summarizes information on how a given model was implemented in the research reviewed. The report includes only information provided in (1) manuscripts about implementation studies and (2) manuscripts about impact studies that rate moderate or high. These manuscripts vary in the level of detail they provide about implementation features. Thus, the report does not provide an exhaustive picture of how the model was implemented across the programs studied. HomVEE notes, in the text or in parentheses, the number of studies that reported information on a given implementation feature.

Implementation experiences

Summary of sources

Information in this section is based on studies included in HomVEE review. For HIPPY, we reviewed nine manuscripts, including five impact manuscripts describing two randomized controlled trials or quasi-experimental designs and four implementation manuscripts. (Please see Studies for Implementation Experiences for a list of the manuscripts and to link to the characteristics of the samples examined in the impact studies.)

In the following sections, we consider all manuscripts about a particular sample to be a single study. For example, six manuscripts were based on the same group of participants and are cited as one study, which we refer to as the New York/Arkansas study. There are four distinct studies across the nine manuscripts.

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Characteristics of model participants

In one study, only mothers participated. The gender of the adult caregivers was not reported in the other studies. In the New York/Arkansas study, the percentage of female children ranged from 36 to 59 percent across sites and cohorts. In one study, 54 percent of the children were female.

In the New York/Arkansas study, the children’s average age ranged from 54 to 58 months across sites and cohorts. In another study, the children’s average age upon enrollment in the program was 45 months. The studies did not specify the average age of the caregivers.

Across the New York/Arkansas study, the children enrolled in the program were racially and ethnically diverse*: the percentage of Black (non-Hispanic) children ranged from 16 to 97 percent, the percentage of White (non-Hispanic) children ranged from 3 to 27 percent, the percentage of Latinx/Hispanic children ranged from 0 to 38 percent, and the percentage of children of other or multiple races ranged from 0 to 19 percent. Two studies provided information on the race and ethnicity of the caregivers. In one study, nearly all of the caregivers were Latinx/Hispanic, and in the other study, nearly all were Black.

Across the New York/Arkansas study, the percentage of single-parent families ranged from 26 to 48 percent, the percentage of single parents living with family ranged from 8 to 22 percent, the percentage of couples among the sample ranged from 25 to 60 percent, and the percentage of couples living with family ranged from 6 to 11 percent. In another study, 89 percent of the sample were married.

Across the New York/Arkansas study, the percentage of families for whom public assistance was the primary source of income ranged from 34 to 46 percent. In another study, 61 percent of families were below 50 percent of poverty level.

Across the New York/Arkansas study, the percentage of the sample with less than a high school education ranged from 28 to 37 percent, the percentage with a high school education ranged from 24 to 64 percent, and the percentage with more than a high school education ranged from 3 to 41 percent. In one study, the average level of education for both mothers and fathers was some high school. In another study, 38 percent of parents had completed high school or earned a GED and 19 percent had less than a high school education.

*The count of studies for each racial and ethnic category comprises studies that included sample members from the racial or ethnic category. If the study did not include sample members from a particular category, the study is not included in the count.

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Location and setting

Study locations included urban settings in Arkansas, California, Michigan, New York State, and Tennessee.

HIPPY was implemented by school districts and a local advocacy organization.

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Staffing and supervision

The New York/Arkansas study and two additional studies reported that paraprofessionals served as the home visitors. The New York/Arkansas study reported that program coordinators provided supervision for the paraprofessionals. In one study, the program hired a family support specialist to work with high-risk families.

In one study, the home visitors were paraprofessionals for whom the position was their first job, and the family support specialist employed by the site had a two-year nursing degree. In another study, the home visitors had at least a high school diploma or GED and were members of the clients’ community, and the program coordinators had an advanced degree and experience in social work or early childhood education. In the New York/Arkansas study, the home visitors were typically members of the clients’ community; some had high school degrees, and few had any college experience. Most of the program coordinators had a bachelor’s degree, a few had a master’s degree, and at a least one had a doctorate. Their degrees typically were in early childhood education, elementary education, community service, social work, or public administration.

One study reported that trainings were held at the national, state, and local levels for the home visitors and program coordinators. The New York/Arkansas study reported that program coordinators received a five-day pre-service training and attended a national training workshop. The home visitors received weekly training from the program coordinator.

The New York/Arkansas study and two additional studies reported that the program coordinators supervised the paraprofessionals. The studies reviewed did not include any additional information on supervision.

None of the studies reviewed included information on the caseloads of the staff.

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Model services

The New York/Arkansas study and one additional study reported offering home visiting along with parent meetings. Another study reported providing case management to enrolled families.

None of the studies reviewed included information about assessments.

The New York/Arkansas study and an additional study reported that a standardized curriculum was used consisting of children’s books and activity guides designed to enhance children’s cognitive development.

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Model adaptations or enhancements

The studies reviewed did not describe any adaptations or enhancements used by the programs.

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Lessons learned

In the New York/Arkansas study, the program experienced challenges related to low levels of participation. The authors recommended that programs discuss participation barriers with families upon enrollment and develop strategies to try to overcome those barriers. The authors also noted that the families with the greatest needs were more likely to attend the group meetings than to participate in the home visits. The authors speculated that the families attended the meetings in the hopes of obtaining resources and information related to their specific issues. Thus, the authors recommended that programs tailor the meetings around the identified needs of the participants even if unrelated to the HIPPY curriculum.

Another study reported that the parent groups were particularly well-received by staff and parents. The authors provided a number of possible explanations for this finding: (1) families were able to focus solely on the instruction provided and did not also have to supervise their children as during the home visits; (2) the group meetings were a nonthreatening forum in which issues could be raised; and (3) topics discussed were often based on parents’ suggestions.

A third study found that the addition of the family support specialist in the second year of the program was an important factor in parent satisfaction. The family support specialist was able to focus on addressing the basic necessities of the participants, enabling the home visitors to concentrate on delivering the curriculum.

Another study reported the importance of considering how the HIPPY program is responding to the changing needs of the community.

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