Besides learning about tips and practices for infant care, Home Visiting programs often have goals to yield outcomes in other areas for the child and the family.
One of the outcomes is general child development and school preparedness for the infant who is benefiting from the home visits. Some Home Visiting models focus on getting parents to learn and engage in activities that support child function; training for school readiness like speaking, reading and writing; developmental skills, and other healthy interactions that promote the relationship between the baby and the parents.
The promotion of the child’s physical health is certainly another goal. Home visitors provide tips about nutrition, physical activity, immunization information and injury prevention. In addition, if there are any concerns or problems with access to health care, home visitors often know the best resources to assist the family in getting access to care. There are even some prenatal focused topics if the family enrolls in a program while the mother is pregnant.
Family self-sufficiency is another area in which Home Visiting can provide support and guidance. There are knowledgeable professionals who can offer various forms of information about services in the local community that can promote educational and training services to enhance the parents’ skill sets and job qualifications. Other support services might also be available like food assistance, and temporary cash assistance that the home visitors can provide connections to.
We can’t forget about mom! Maternal health can also be improved due to Home Visiting programs. There is post-partum care and check-ups that moms need to keep up with after birth. There may be referral opportunities to mental health treatment centers, substance abuse facilities and other resources if applicable. Moms all around well-being can be improved with the help of Home Visiting!
Home Visiting programs also encourage long term positive parenting practices by incorporating parenting skills and education while the parent support specialist is in the home. Improved behaviors are guided and some other support may be provided about safety practices and child development information that carry throughout parenthood. Even have the Home Visiting program has been completed!
Home Visiting programs tend to lead to reductions in child and family behavioral problems in the long term. The parental education regarding the capacity to manage the child’s behavior, and other resources already mentioned like self- sufficiency, behavioral health referrals, etc. can have long term impact for the whole family.
There are many short-terms and long terms effects of participating in Home Visiting programs and it is worth the commitment!