A Qualitative Exploration of Co-location as an Intervention to Strengthen Home Visiting Implementation in Addressing Maternal Child Health
The aim of this paper is to explore the process and impact of co-locating evidence-based maternal and child service models to inform future implementation efforts. As part of a state-wide evaluation of maternal and child home visiting programs, we conducted semi-structured interviews with administrators and home visitors from home visiting agencies across Pennsylvania. We collected 33 interviews from 4 co-located agencies. We used the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) to describe the key elements mitigating implementation of multiple home visiting models. A primary advantage of co-location described by participants was the ability to increase the agency’s base of eligible clients through the implementation of a model with different program eligibility (e.g. income, child age) than the existing agency offering. Model differences related to curriculum (e.g. content or intensity/meeting frequency) enabled programs to more selectively match clients to models. To recruit eligible clients, new models were able to build upon the existing service networks of the initial program. Co-location provided organizational opportunities for shared trainings, enabling administrative efficiencies and collaborative staff learning. Programs implemented strategies to build synergies with complementary model features, for instance using the additional program option to serve waitlisted clients and to transition services after one model is completed. Considerable benefits are experienced when home visiting models co-locate. This research builds on literature encouraging collaboration among community agencies and provides insight on a specific facilitative approach. This implementation strategy informs policy across the social services spectrum and competitive funding contexts.