Children from low-income families are more likely than those from higher-income families to have poor social, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and health outcomes. One approach that has helped parents and their young children is home visiting, which provides information, resources, and support to expectant parents and families with young children. This brief summarizes evidence from existing studies on the impact of early childhood home visiting on children 5 and older for four national models of home visiting.
Primary Research Questions
The primary research questions of the brief include the following:
- What are the effects of home visiting programs for families as children get older?
- How do the monetary benefits of home visiting compare with their costs?
The information in this brief will inform the design of a study to assess the long-term effects of home visiting. It will suggest where this long-term follow-up study can seek to replicate prior results, where it can try to fill gaps in current knowledge, and which outcomes are important to measure in order to assess the benefits and costs of home visiting.
Key findings include the following:
- Evidence-based home visiting has improved outcomes for parents and children across a wide range of child ages, outcome areas, and national models.
- Evidence-based home visiting appears to be cost-effective in the long term.
- The largest benefits from evidence-based home visiting come through reduced spending on government programs and increased individual earnings.
The brief summarizes prior evidence on the effects of four evidence-based models of home visiting using information from seven studies of families with children from 5 to 21 years old. It also summarizes published benefit-cost analyses of these four models.