Home visiting has grown in recent decades as a strategy for providing preventive services to families with young children. Federal, state, local, and private funders have supported programs operating in thousands of communities around the country. Several programs are widely disseminated in the United States, with different programs focusing on slightly different populations and targeting distinct goals (such as preventing child maltreatment, improving maternal and child health outcomes, and increasing school readiness).
On March 23, 2010, the President signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. This legislation was designed to increase the number of people who have health insurance and contained a number of provisions related to quality of care. Through a provision authorizing the creation of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, the Act greatly expands federal funding of evidence-based home visiting programs. These programs are designed to improve maternal and child health and development outcomes for children in at-risk communities. The program is jointly administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The DOHVE project provided the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with design options for conducting a national evaluation of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood (MIECHV) home visiting program. The final design was presented to the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Evaluation in December 2011. The DOHVE project team is currently providing research- and evaluation-related technical assistance to the MIECHV Program grantees.