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Randomized Trial of Healthy Families New York (HFNY): Does Home Visiting Prevent Child Maltreatment?

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2011
156 pages
This study evaluated the effectiveness of a state-administered home visitation program based on the Healthy Families America (HFA) model, Health Families New York (HFNY), in the prevention of child maltreatment and risk of delinquency.

Home visiting presents a unique opportunity for trained workers to forge enduring relationship with families at a time when parents are vulnerable and the developmental path of the newborn is malleable. This study, supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, presents timely evidence to suggest that involving families in home visiting services early on promotes positive experiences within the home during the initial years of life, for both the mother and child. These benefits range from healthier birth outcomes to health parenting to positive school experiences. Some specific conclusions drawn from the study include: (1) Healthy Families America (HFA)-based programs can produce sustained effects with a diverse population; (2) who is offered home visiting services matters; and (3) examining patterns of effects on neglect may inform program practice. The study provides understanding of the relationship between home visiting and child maltreatment and youth outcomes that protect against or pose risks for later delinquency. This study utilizes a 7-year longitudinal randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a State-administered home visitation program in preventing child maltreatment and risks of delinquency. Healthy Families New York (HFNY), which is based on the HFA model, was established as a strengths-based, intensive home visitation program with explicit goals of promoting positive parenting skills and parent-child interaction, preventing child abuse and neglect, supporting optimal prenatal care and child health and development, and improving parent's self-sufficiency. This study was the first cost benefit analysis of the HFNY program. Exhibits and references

Date Published: January 1, 2011