Mothers’ Advocates in the Community (MOSAIC) was implemented as a demonstration program from January 2006 to December 2008. The model developers, including researchers at La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne in Australia, oversaw and supported program implementation.
Implementing Mothers’ Advocates in the Community (MOSAIC)
Last updated: July 2013
MOSAIC draws on research evidence about three social support strategies designed to reduce intimate partner violence (IPV) and enhance women’s mental and physical health: (1) randomized trials of home visiting by nurses, paraprofessionals, and nonprofessional peers for new mothers living in disadvantaged communities; (2) a randomized trial of domestic violence advocacy by trained paraprofessionals for women leaving shelters or refuge; and (3) a randomized trial of a mentor mother model in which nonprofessional, trained mothers support pregnant women through domestic violence advocacy activities via home visits and phone calls.
MOSAIC hypothesized that reducing isolation, providing links to community resources, and providing sustained help from mentor mothers would reduce IPV and depression and encourage women to take actions to increase their safety. Reduction of abuse would further reduce depression and enhance women’s general health and mother-child bonding.
MOSAIC targeted women who were pregnant or had a child age 5 or younger, either reported IPV or exhibited symptoms of abuse, and spoke English or Vietnamese. Women were ineligible if they suffered from a serious mental illness for which they did not take medication.
Primary targeted outcomes included the reduction of IPV and/or depression, as well as the improvement of mothers’ health, well-being, and attachment to their child. Secondary targeted outcomes included enhancing primary care providers’ case management of mothers and other family members with IPV through collaboration with community-based family violence networks.
Program participants received home visits and other regular contacts from trained and supported mentor mothers. Mentor mothers were supposed to (1) offer listening, friendship, and support without judgment; (2) use regular phone calls, home visits, and other outings to maintain contact and support; (3) help develop appropriate safety and self-care strategies; (4) foster trust and model hope; (5) offer parenting support and information; and (6) provide information regarding community resources and services (in particular, family violence services) and offer referral assistance. Mentor coordinators matched mothers to mentors based on the preferences mothers expressed during a telephone call with the coordinator (such as preferring a mentor who resides in the community), but both mentors and mothers had to agree to the match.
Model Intensity and Length
MOSAIC provided 12 months of weekly home visiting and other regular contacts from mentor mothers. No information is available regarding the length of home visits.
The information contained on this page was last updated in July 2013. Recommended Further Reading lists the sources for this information.