Home visitation programs are known to have a positive impact on not only children and families, but communities as a whole. Prevent Child Abuse America has taken a position on this issue.
A Resolution on Home Visitation
Whereas, the first three years of a child’s life are crucial for healthy cognitive, physical and emotional development, and abuse or neglect during this developmental stage can lead to permanent disabilities.1
Whereas, many new or expectant parents lack knowledge about parenting, do not have family or social support, or are unaware of important community resources.
Whereas, parents in the aforementioned circumstances may be more likely to abuse or neglect their children or to suffer from stress or depression that can lead to problems in relating to their children and others.
Whereas, voluntary home visitation programs, such as Healthy Families America , improve family functioning by providing parents with the parenting advice and support they need and by assisting them in accessing helpful resources in their community.
Whereas, voluntary participation in home visitation programs, such as Healthy Families America, has been shown to reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect and to result in a number of other benefits to children and families, including fewer emergency room visits, increased well-child visits, and higher immunization rates.2
Whereas, research has found that prevention programs, particularly home visiting programs, are cost-effective because they reduce the public costs associated with child protective services, health care, special education, loss of productivity, and the criminal justice system.3
Therefore, be it resolved, that Prevent Child Abuse America supports:
Making home visitation services available on a strictly voluntary basis to expectant parents and families with newborns and young children in order to promote positive parenting, to enhance healthy child development and to prevent child abuse and neglect.
Ensuring that communities offer a broad continuum of culturally sensitive supportive services to meet diverse needs of families.
Increasing public and private funding available for home visiting and other family support services.
Incorporating best practice standards, training, quality assurance, and evaluations systems into home visiting programs.
- National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information (2001). “In Focus: Understanding the Effects of Maltreatment on Early Brain Development, October 2001.” Available online.
- Daro, D and Harding, K (1999). “Healthy Families America: Using Research to Enhance Practice. The Future of Children.” Home Visiting: Recent Program Evaluations. Volume 9(1), pp. 159-167, 177. Los Altos, CA: David and Lucille Foundation Packard Foundation.
- National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information (1998). “Prevention Pays: The Cost of Not Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect.” Available online. “Not Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect.” Available online.; LeCroy & Milligan Associates, Inc. (1999). “Healthy Families Arizona Cost-Benefit Analysis.” Phoenix, Arizona: Arizona Department of Economic Security.