Understanding Family Engagement in Home Visiting: Literature Synthesis

Understanding Family Engagement in Home Visiting: Literature Synthesis

OPRE Report #2023-004
Published: Jan 25, 2023
Publisher: Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Associated Project

Understanding and Expanding the Reach of Home Visiting (HV-REACH)

Time frame: 2021–2025

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation

Clients
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Authors

Ruth Hsu

Mary Kalb

Joseph O'Brien

Emily Rosen

Catherine Ayoub

McMillan Gaither

Christina Mondi-Rago

Joanne Roberts

Mindy Rosengarten

Key Findings
  • Several key facilitators influence family engagement at each stage in which programs and families interact (outreach, recruitment, retention, and active participation)—and the absence of those factors can be a barrier to engagement.
  • Key factors that can facilitate family engagement in home visiting include relevant program content and support; a positive dynamic between home visitors and families; and flexible scheduling.
  • Home visiting programs and home visitors can develop and implement strategies to promote family engagement, including strategies that (1) strengthen outreach and recruitment, (2) support a favorable match and a positive dynamic between home visitors and families, and (3) offer flexible scheduling, content, and activities to prioritize families’ needs and goals.

The Understanding and Expanding the Reach of Home Visiting (HV-REACH) project, funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families, aims to identify, develop, study, and disseminate evidence-informed resources and strategies that early childhood home visiting programs can use to achieve more equitable access to and participation in services and better outcomes for children and families. This literature synthesis seeks to inform program practitioners and policymakers about factors and strategies that facilitate family engagement in home visiting and about the barriers to engagement. The synthesis informs other components of this project, including a conceptual framework of family engagement in home visiting, a toolkit of resources to promote engagement, and research topics for further study.

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