Home visiting programs: Four evidence-based lessons for policymakers

by Cynthia Osborne
February 17, 2017

Author Affiliation

Osborne, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin. [email protected]


1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. (2013). Home visiting evidence of effectiveness: About us. Executive summary. Retrieved from http://homvee.acf.hhs.gov/About-Us/5/Executive-Summary/20/2

2. Haskins, R., & Margolis, G. (2014). Show me the evidence: Obama’s fight for rigor and results in social policy. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.

3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. (n.d.). Home visiting evidence of effectiveness: Models. Retrieved July 30, 2016, from http://homvee.acf.hhs.gov/Models.aspx.

4. Osborne, C., Bobbitt, K., & Ansari, A. (2015). From randomized controlled trials to community-level change: What should be expected when taking home visiting programs to scale? [Working paper]. Austin: The University of Texas at Austin, Child and Family Research Partnership.

5. Bobbitt, K., & Osborne, C. (2015). Reality check: Can the effects of home visiting programs found in RCTs be replicated in the real world? [Working paper]. Austin: The University of Texas at Austin, Child and Family Research Partnership.

6. Astuto, J., & Allen, L. (2009). Home visitation and young children: An approach worth investing in? Social Policy Report, 23(4). Retrieved from http://srcd.org/sites/default/files/documents/23-4_astuto_allen.pdf

7. Azzi-Lessing, L. (2011). Home visitation programs: Critical issues and future directions. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26, 387–398.

8. Sweet, M., & Appelbaum, M. (2004). Is home visiting an effective strategy? A meta-analytic review of home visiting programs for families with young children. Child Development, 75, 1435–1456.

9. White House, Office of the Press Secretary. (2013, February 13). Fact sheet President Obama’s plan for early education for all Americans [Fact sheet]. Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/13/fact-sheet-president-obama-s-plan-early-education-all-americans

10. Kristoff, N., & WuDunn, S. (2014, September 12). The way to beat poverty. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com

11. Olds, D., Henderson, C., Tatelbaum, R., & Chamberlin, R. (1986). Improving the delivery of prenatal care and outcomes of pregnancy: A randomized trial of nurse home visitation. Pediatrics, 77, 16–28.

12. Chazan-Cohen, R., Raikes, H., & Vogel, C. (2013). Program subgroups: Patterns of impacts for home-based, center-based, and mixed-approach programs. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 78, 93–109.

13. Daro, D. A., & Harding, K. A. (1999). Healthy Families America: Using research to enhance practice. The Future of Children, 9, 152–176.

14. Kitzman, H., Olds, D. L., Henderson, C. R., Jr., Hanks, C., Cole, R., Tatelbaum, R., . . . Barnard, K. (1997). Effect of prenatal and infancy home visitation by nurses on pregnancy outcomes, childhood injuries, and repeated childbearing: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 278, 644–652.

15. Landsverk, J., Carrilio, T., Connelly, C. D., Ganger, W., Slymen, D., Newton, R., et al. (2002). Healthy Families San Diego clinical trial: Technical report. The Stuart Foundation, California Wellness Foundation, State of California Department of Social Services: Office of Child Abuse Prevention. Referenced on the HomVee evidence website: http://homvee.acf.hhs.gov/Effects/1/Healthy-Families-America–HFA-/10/Child-Health/2/4/#2.

16. Harden, B. J., Chazan-Cohen, R., Raikes, H., & Vogel, C. (2012). Early Head Start home visitation: The role of implementation in bolstering program benefits. Journal of Community Psychology, 40, 438–455.

17. Olds, D., Henderson, C., & Kitzman, H. (1994). Does prenatal and infancy nurse home visitation have enduring effects on qualities of parental caregiving and child health at 25 to 50 months of life? Pediatrics, 93, 89–98.

18. Olds, D., Robinson, J., Pettitt, L., Luckey, D. W., Holmberg, J., Ng, R. K., . . . Henderson, C. R., Jr. (2004). Effects of home visits by paraprofessionals and by nurses: Age 4 follow-up results of a randomized trial. Pediatrics, 114, 1560–1568.

19. Wagner, M., Spiker, D., & Linn, M. (2002).The effectiveness of the Parents as Teachers program with low-income parents and children. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 22, 67–81.

20. Gottfredson, D. C., Cook, T. D., Gardner, F. E., Gorman-Smith, D., Howe, G. W., Sandler, I. N., & Zafft, K. M. (2015). Standards of evidence for efficacy, effectiveness, and scale-up research in prevention science: Next generation. Prevention Science, 16, 893–926.

21. Azzi-Lessing, L. (2013). Serving highly vulnerable families in home-visitation programs. Infant Mental Health Journal, 34, 376–390.

22. Paulsell, D., Del Grosso, P., & Supplee, L. (2014). Supporting replication and scale-up of evidence-based home visiting programs: Assessing the implementation knowledge base. American Journal of Public Health, 104, 1624–1632.

23. Michalopoulos, C., Lee, H., Duggan, A., Lundquist, E., Tso, A., Crowne, S. S., . . . Knox, V. (2015). The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation: Early findings on the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. A report to Congress (OPRE Report 2015-11). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.