Healthy Families America (HFA), a national initiative launched in 1992 by Prevent Child Abuse America and modeled after Hawaii's Healthy Start, links expectant and new mothers to trained staff who provide home visits and referrals to community services. Families participate voluntarily in the program. HFA currently has home visitation programs in more than 420 communities in the United States and Canada. The following resources offer information on the Healthy Families program and its effectiveness, including State and local examples.
Healthy Families America
Includes Healthy Families contacts in each State, a peer mentoring network, research findings, and other resources.
Healthy Families America
Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Provides a brief program model description, a review of studies, evidence of effectiveness, and a summary of findings by outcome domain.
Effects of Healthy Families New York on Maternal Behaviors: Observational Assessments of Positive and Negative Parenting (PDF - 209 KB)
DuMont, Mitchell-Herzfeld, Kirkland, Rodriguez, Walden, Greene, et al. (2008)
New York State Office of Children and Family Services & University at Albany, State University of New York Examines the effectiveness of Healthy Families New York, a home-visiting program based on the Healthy Families America model, in promoting parenting competencies and preventing maladaptive parenting behaviors.
Engagement and Retention in Voluntary New Parent Support Programs: Final Report
Chapin Hall Center for Children (2005)
This study examining the factors leading to increased parent participation in support programs drew its participant and program samples from Healthy Families America sites.
Engaging and Retaining Participants in the Healthy Families Program: Hope Is an Essential Ingredient (PDF - 2120 KB)
Building Bridges: Linking Practice and Research on Home Visitation, 2006
Discusses research results that can help home visiting programs improve the engagement and retention of families.
Final Report: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Home Visiting Services in Promoting Children's Adjustment in School (PDF - 689 KB)
Kirkland & Mitchell-Herzfeld (2012)
New York State Office of Children and Family Services & Pew Charitable Trusts
Examines the effects of a strengths-based home visiting program, Healthy Families New York, which was based on Healthy Families America, on the academic adjustment of children following their transition to school.
Healthy Families America: State Systems Development Guide (PDF - 489 KB)
Prevent Child Abuse America (2003)
Information and innovation to support and grow a national voluntary home visiting initiative designed to promote positive parenting, encourage child health and development, and prevent child abuse and neglect.
Healthy Families America Effectiveness: A Comprehensive Review of Outcomes
Harding, Galano, Martin, Huntington, & Schellenbach (2007)
In Healthy Families America Initiative: Integrating Research, Theory, and Practice
Reviews 33 evaluations of Healthy Families America sites, focusing on outcome domains in child health and development, maternal life course, parenting, and child maltreatment. Also highlights two large-scale evaluations to illustrate exemplary evaluation approaches.
Healthy Families America Self-Assessment Tool 2007 (PDF - 411 KB)
Prevent Child Abuse America (2007)
Evaluates programs based on best practice standards that define the Healthy Families model on twelve critical elements and governance and administration. Identifies policies, procedures, and practices necessary for the program to implement.
HFA Evaluation Results
Healthy Families America
Summaries of evaluation studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of Healthy Families programs.
Initial Findings from a Randomized, Controlled Trial of Healthy Families Massachusetts: Early Program Impacts on Young Mothers' Parenting (PDF - 576 KB)
Easterbrooks, Jacobs, Bartlett, Goldberg, Contreras, & Kotake (2012)
Offers an evaluation on Healthy Families Massachusetts, a statewide child maltreatment prevention home-visiting program for first-time young parents, that examined the program's impact on child maltreatment and parenting in a sample of young mothers.
Validity in an Evaluation of Healthy Families Florida: A Program to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect
Falconer, Clark, & Parris (2011)
Children and Youth Services Review, 33(1)
Explores the evidence-based continuums as a guide for identifying the level of evidence in evaluations of home-visiting programs conducted to determine their effectiveness in preventing child abuse and neglect.
State and local examples
Healthy Families Florida
Describes the program and offers a map of projects across the State. The website also provides resources for professionals, families, and the media, and information on research and evaluations.
Healthy Families New York (HFNY)
Includes a program description, resources for professionals and families, videos, training and staff development materials, and research and evaluations of HFNY.