Home visiting programs are highly effective at coaching new parents to be better parents. Home visiting is particularly effective in building skills needed to be an effective parent as well as providing support for breastfeeding, nutrition, child development, fussy babies, oral health, and access to community resources. Arizona has a long tradition of supporting home visiting. Arizona’s coalition of partners is called the Strong Arizona Families Alliance.
For example, Health Start is a program funded through lottery funds and uses community health workers, to provide education, support, and advocacy services to pregnant/postpartum women and their families in targeted communities across the state. The High Risk Perinatal Program assists families who have a child in the neonatal intensive care unit. Taking home a medically fragile baby can be overwhelming, and one component is having community health nurses come to the home and help parents learn how to care for their infant.
Our Bureau of Women and Children’s Health and First Things First brought together our sister agencies and awarded a $12M Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting grant. The grant supports expansion of Nurse-Family Partnerships, Healthy Families, and Family Spirit to thirty-one at-risk areas of the state through 2015. The Nurse-Family Partnership is cited as one of the most effective interventions to improve family outcomes. BTW: home visiting has an ROI of $5.70 for each dollar spent.