The MOM Program was developed to address gaps in the use of health services and early intervention services for developmental issues for children under age 5. It was designed to provide professional support to help low-income mothers identify the need for early intervention and access appropriate services for their children.
Implementing MOM Program
Implementation last updated: 2013
The MOM Program is implemented by researchers and staff from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the City of Philadelphia, and the University of Pennsylvania. It was originally implemented as a demonstration program from 2001 to 2006.
The MOM Program is offered to postpartum mothers of healthy infants until their children’s fifth birthdays. Targeted mothers are recruited from an urban academic hospital and reside in high-poverty neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The program aims to increase mothers’ use of child health care services and promote receipt of early intervention services for their child in order to improve developmental and behavioral outcomes at kindergarten entry.
Until children reach age 3, the MOM Program provides home visits to mothers before planned well-child health care visits to prepare mothers for their appointment. Home visitors, consisting of both nurses and paraprofessional community workers, are not assigned to specific mothers, but instead alternate visiting participants.
Well-child visits are planned according to American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines. During the visits, home visitors:
- Ask mothers whether they have concerns about their child’s development;
- Show mothers checklists of age-specific developmental milestones and ask how their child compares;
- Encourage mothers to ask about their child’s development at the upcoming well-child visit;
- Discuss expectations for the upcoming well-child visit in terms of procedures and immunizations;
- Inform mothers of appropriate early education services;
- Conduct developmental screenings when children are ages 18 and 36 months.
Home visitors also call mothers to remind them of their scheduled well-child appointments. They call again after the scheduled visit to check that the mothers went to their appointment and received all recommended services. If one home visitor encounters persistent nonresponse from a mother, another home visitor takes over. In addition to varying the home visitor attempting communication, home visitors also vary the days and times of contact efforts.
The MOM Program offers two additional visits to mothers of children with developmental delays before they reach 33 months. During these additional visits, home visitors inform mothers about the procedures for enrolling their children in early intervention services and obtaining missing documents, such as their children’s birth certificates.
When children are 36 to 60 months of age, home visits are offered to all mothers to support enrollment in preschool and kindergarten and, when applicable, to facilitate the transition between early intervention and preschool special education services.
Model intensity and length
The MOM Program offers most mothers nine visits before planned well-child appointments until children are 3 years old and two visits per year when children are from 3 to 5 years old. The target dosage for the first 3 years is completion of 75 percent (seven of nine) of planned visits. For mothers of children with developmental delays, the program offers two additional visits before the children reach 33 months. Visits typically last 15 minutes. The MOM Program avoids frequent or long visits to avoid seeming intrusive or burdensome and to foster positive relationships with the mothers.
The information contained on this page was last updated in July 2013. Recommended Further Reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the information contained in this profile was reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Radcliffe of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Dr. Schwarz of the City of Philadelphia, on June 20, 2013. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.