Research has identified several parent or caregiver factors that potentially contribute to maltreatment. Home-visiting programs are community resources that can provide families, including expectant parents and families with new babies and young children, with supports such as parenting education, mental and behavioral health services, employment assistance, and referrals to other professionals that help build resiliency and promote positive, socioemotional well-being within families. Increased rates of those experiencing depression and other mental health challenges sheds light on the need to screen and assess for depression and offer an array of family-focused community resources that strengthen families, prevent child abuse and neglect, encourage positive parenting, and promote child development.
Use these resources to learn more about the importance of addressing maternal mental health within home visiting programs.
Addressing Maternal Mental Health to Increase Participation in Home Visiting (PDF - 553 KB)
Molina, Traube, & Kemner (2020)
Children and Youth Services Review, 113
Presents findings of a study conducted to examine rates of depression among mothers in the National Parent as Teachers home-visiting program. The study found that mothers with higher depressive symptoms have a harder time participating in home-visiting services.
Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Maternal and Child Health Through Home Visiting Programs (PDF - 701 KB)
Center for Health Care Strategies (2021)
Describes culturally responsive strategies used by State Medicaid and health agencies in New York, Minnesota, and Vermont to improve equitable health and well-being outcomes through home-visiting programs that were designed to benefit mothers of color.
Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work With Infants, Children, and Families
Irving Harris Foundation
Access resources and additional information on the Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work With Infants, Children and Families, a set of strategies to increase diversity and inclusion principles throughout all types of work.
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health in Home Visiting
National Center for Children in Poverty (2021)
Bank Street Graduate School for Education
Provides an overview of home-visiting as well as profiles of States and other organizations that include a focus on infant and early childhood mental health in their programming.
Maternal Mental Health Outcomes and Children's Mental Health and Home Visiting
Ammerman & Tandon (2022)
Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development, Strategic Knowledge Cluster on ECD
Presents innovative research related to home visitation programs' identification and response to maternal depression, identifies gaps in this existing research, and provides recommendations for the practice and policy community on addressing maternal depression within home visitation.
Mental Health and Well-Being Among Home Visitors: Stressors, Supports, and Service Implications (PDF - 203 KB)
Research Snapshot (2020)
National Home Visiting Resource Center
Provides a synthesis of existing data and research on the impact mental health has on the well-being of home visitors and how stressors can affect staff retention, well-being, and overall health.
Parent and Child Mental Health and Home Visiting
Ward, Tandon, & Ammerman (2022)
Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development
Discusses the need for home visiting services to be expanded to the whole family to have a larger impact on family mental health and well-being.