Is the families first home visiting program effective in reducing child maltreatment and improving child development?

Authors: 

Chartier, Mariette J
Brownell, Marni D
Isaac, Michael R
Chateau, Dan
Nickel, Nathan C
Katz, Alan
Sarkar, Joykrishna
Hu, Milton
Taylor, Carole

Year of Publication: 
2017
Source: 
Child Maltreat, 22(2), 121-131
Abstract: 
While home visiting programs are among the most widespread interventions to support at-risk families, there is a paucity of research investigating these programs under real-world conditions. The effectiveness of Families First home visiting (FFHV) was examined for decreasing rates of being in care of child welfare, decreasing hospitalizations for maltreatment-related injuries, and improving child development at school entry. Data for 4,562 children from home visiting and 5,184 comparison children were linked to deidentified administrative health, social services, and education data. FFHV was associated with lower rates of being in care by child’s first, second, and third birthday (adjusted risk ratio [aRR] = 0.75, 0.79, and 0.81, respectively) and lower rates of hospitalization for maltreatment-related injuries by third birthday (aRR = 0.59). No differences were found in child development at kindergarten. FFHV should be offered to at-risk families to decrease child maltreatment. Program enhancements are required to improve child development at school entry.
Type of Publication: 
Journal article
Category: 
Canadian CW research