New Statewide Study Shows Home Visiting Services Need Additional Support

Evidence-based home visiting services, funded through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, provide tremendous support to low-income families in Pennsylvania and around the country. While these programs have great success in promoting child and maternal health across a number of outcomes, new PolicyLab research shows one area in which these services can be strengthened to better meet the needs of families. In collaboration with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, PolicyLab Deputy Director Meredith Matone, DrPH, MHS, and her research team conducted a large, mixed-methods study that found that mothers engaged in MIECHV-funded home visiting programs are more likely than children who don’t receive home visiting services to visit the emergency department or receive inpatient care for abuse or injury. The researchers did not find that home visiting services caused abuse, but rather they had no discernible impact on child abuse prevention. This research points to the need for additional supports for child abuse prevention services in these programs and novel approaches to addressing an issue as complicated and multi-faceted as child abuse prevention. Read the study here and a press release on the research here.