Introducing the Healthy Families America Child Welfare Adaptation

Healthy Families America® (HFA) is the nationally-recognized, evidence-based home visiting program of Prevent Child Abuse America. By supporting parents in the home, HFA builds a strong foundation for nurturing, safe and trusted relationships between caregiver and child that maximizes opportunities for all children to reach their full potential. Families who voluntarily enroll in HFA work one-on-one with a Family Support Specialist and receive support based on their specific needs. Parents can enroll in the program starting prenatally or at birth, and receive support up until the child is five years old.

Helping Children and Families Thrive

Studies have shown that HFA helps parents and children by improving child health, promoting parent-child interaction, increasing school readiness, and strengthening family self-sufficiency.  Studies have also shown reduction of child maltreatment among high-risk families enrolled in the program.  In a randomized control study from Healthy Families New York (HFNY), it was found that for mothers with prior CPS reports, HFNY reduced the rate of confirmed neglect by 33% and the rate of confirmed abuse by 77%, including an 88% reduction in the average number of acts of very serious physical abuse by the age of one.

Introducing the Healthy Families America Child Welfare Adaptation

While HFA works with all families, the program best serves those who are high-risk and overburdened, including those who have been involved in the child welfare system. For child welfare providers who work on the front lines each day and recognize the value in connecting high-risk families to intensive home visiting services like HFA, a challenge arises when families with older infants or toddlers are identified, and HFA services are unavailable due to the child’s age.

HFA has addressed this gap by introducing the HFA Child Welfare Adaptation.  Families who are referred to HFA from the child welfare system are now able to enroll in the program until the child reaches 24 months of age.  Similar to the current HFA model, support services will be offered for a minimum of three years regardless of the age of the child at intake, and support will be tailored to the unique needs of each family.

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