Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home-Visiting Program (MECSH) Model Description

Based in Australia, the Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home-Visiting (MECSH) program is designed to enhance maternal and child outcomes by providing prenatal and antepartum services in addition to the traditional postpartum care families receive through Australia’s universal system for maternal, child, and family health services. The model can be adapted for systems outside of Australia and to meet local needs. MECSH serves parents or caregivers at risk of adverse parental and/or child health and development outcomes. Registered nurses conduct a minimum of 22 (for postnatal enrollment) to 25 (for prenatal enrollment) 60- to 90-minute home visits. Nurse home visitors deliver services until the child’s second birthday. During the visits, nurses focus on parent education, maternal health and well-being, family relationships, goal setting, and other issues such as housing and finances. Also available are parenting groups, activities to link families to the community, and referrals to other specialized care (such as dieticians and drug and alcohol counselors). For more information, please read the Model Overview.