Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program

Evaluation (MIHOPE)

Informing the Future of Home Visiting





Several MIHOPE sites have reached their target MIHOPE sample recruitment numbers! Each MIHOPE site has a specific target number for study enrollment, usually 60 families. It was expected that it would take a site up to 18 months to enroll the necessary number of families into the study, but a few sites have accomplished this important benchmark in as little as six to nine months. The research team is delighted that some MIHOPE program sites are opting to recruit more families for the study, even after reaching their initial target number.

A mental health professional was recently hired by one of the MIHOPE sites to serve multiple roles in their home visiting program. The psychologist provides consultation to staff on the needs of specific families but also provides direct support to the home visitors. One goal in hiring the mental health professional is to prevent burnout among program staff, an issue that research has identified as important for the well-being of staff and for effectively engaging families in services over time. In MIHOPE, staff will be asked for their perspectives on how clinical consultants support them and the families they work with.

One MIHOPE state has expanded Early Head Start recruitment to engage more prenatal families in home visiting. The sites in the state have developed new referral partners, such as prenatal service providers, and report excitement about reaching more expectant families so that they can begin working with parents even before their babies are born.

A novel recruitment strategy introduced in one MIHOPE site is the addition of magnetic signs on cars. This temporary, mobile advertisement has increased the home visiting program’s exposure in the community, resulting in additional self-referrals.



In June and October 2013, the study team partnered with Healthy Families America (HFA) to host a webinar and explain MIHOPE-Strong Start to state-level HFA administrators. Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) also hosted a webinar in June to explain MIHOPE-Strong Start to nurse consultants. MIHOPE-Strong Start appreciates the support of HFA and NFP as the study team continues to recruit sites.

MIHOPE includes an economic analysis, more commonly known as a cost study. This aspect of the project is led by the University of Georgia, one of MDRC’s MIHOPE partners, and was initiated in mid-2013. The economic analysis will provide a more comprehensive look at home visiting, informing policymakers about how program costs are affected by the differences in kinds of families being served and other programmatic strategies. The cost study is part of the final MIHOPE report, due to Congress in 2018, and will answer important questions about the costs of delivering home visiting services in different settings.

As of October 3, 2013, 1,022 participants have been enrolled in MIHOPE.



MIHOPE was discussed at the fourth Secretary’s Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting about the study, on September 12, 2013. The MIHOPE team reported on project enrollment, data collected to date, and plans for the 2015 Report to Congress from MIHOPE. 

Join the MIHOPE team at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) 2013 Fall Research Conference, November 7-9, in Washington, DC! The MIHOPE team will present on the afternoon of November 9 as part of a panel about the ways in which implementation research can answer questions about how programs produce benefits for families. For instance, how do programs vary in the ways that they approach service delivery? How do these differences seem to influence the amount of home visiting services that families receive? How do these differences seem to affect outcomes for parents and children? 

The National Head Start Association’s (NHSA’s) Early Head Start Home Visiting Leadership Network hosted a webinar about MIHOPE on July 2, 2013. The webinar provided an overview of the MIHOPE study and a discussion of the kinds of questions MIHOPE hopes to answer.  


OPREMDRCHRSACenters for Medicare and Medicaid Services