The Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) launched Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE) to review home visiting models that target families with pregnant women and children from birth to age 5. HomVEE also shares those that meet the DHHS criteria to be implemented and funded as an evidence-based program model. The following home visiting program models are at work in South Carolina.
Early Head Start (Home-Based)
Early Head Start programs provide home visits to low-income pregnant women and families. They promote school readiness by providing educational, health, nutritional, social and other services. They engage parents in their children’s learning and help them make progress toward their educational, literacy and employment goals.
Early Steps to School Success
Early Steps to School Success provides language and literacy skills for children from birth to age 5. Through home visits, book exchanges and parenting groups, Early Steps staff helps children with language, social and emotional development, and equips parents and caregivers with the skills to support children’s growth.
Early Steps to School Success is a program of Save the Children. Early Steps currently works with 15 schools and communities in six South Carolina counties: Barnwell, Clarendon, Florence, Lee, Orangeburg and Union.
Family Check-Up works with high-risk families where normal challenges are likely to lead to unfavorable outcomes such as child conduct problems. The program model offers three home visits from a parent consultant with an advanced degree in psychology or a related field. The consultant then recommends specific family-based interventions that could include parent management training, preschool consultation or community referrals. This model is approved by HomVEE as an evidence-based model
Healthy Families America
Healthy Families America (HFA) is theoretically rooted in the belief that early, nurturing relationships are the foundation for life-long, healthy development. Interactions between direct service providers and families are relationship-based, designed to promote positive parent-child relationships and healthy attachment, strength-based, family centered, culturally sensitive and reflective. HFA includes screenings and assessments to determine families at risk for child maltreatment or other adverse childhood experiences, home visiting services, and routine screening for child development and maternal depression. Sites offer at least one home visit per week for the first six months after the child’s birth. After those initial months, visit frequency is based on families’ needs and progress over time. HFA is designed for parents facing challenges such as single parenthood; low income; childhood history of abuse and other adverse child experiences; and current or previous issues related to substance abuse, mental health issues, and/or domestic violence.
Healthy Families America is a program from Prevent Child Abuse America and has two sites in South Carolina: one in Greenwood and the other in Pickens. This model is approved by HomVee as an evidence-based model.
Healthy Start is a national initiative aimed at reducing infant mortality and increasing the level of care for mothers from pregnancy through their child’s second birthday. In addition to home visits, Healthy Start provides evaluation of social and environmental needs, coordination of care and services, physician referrals, support group meetings, fatherhood/male involvement initiatives and childbirth and infant CPR classes.
The National Healthy Start Association is committed to improving birth outcomes and health disparities that exist in communities of color across the United States. In South Carolina, Healthy Start programs include offerings from Palmetto Health in Columbia and Lowcountry Healthy Start in Orangeburg.
Nurse-Family Partnership provides one-on-home home visits by a trained public nurse to first-time, low-income mothers and their children. Enrollment and visits begin no later than the 28th week of gestation and end at age 2. Nurses work to reinforce maternal behaviors consistent with program goals and that encourage positive behaviors and accomplishments. Home visits address prenatal care, infant care and the development of young children.
The model is from the Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health at the University of Colorado. There now are seven Nurse-Family Partnerships serving 19 counties in South Carolina. This model is approved by HomVee as an evidence-based model.
Parents as Teachers
Parents as Teachers provides knowledge on child development and parenting. Professional development for home visiting is followed by developmental screening, home visiting to families, group meetings. The program also provides a resource network for families. Parent educators conduct the home visits, using the Born to Learn curriculum. Local sites decide on the frequency and length of home visits, which are provided from pregnancy to kindergarten entry.
Parents as Teachers was created in Missouri in 1981 and has now expanded across the country. There are more than 40 Parents as Teachers programs across South Carolina. This model is approved by HomVee as an evidence-based model.
Parent-Child Home Program
The Parent-Child Home Program brings together school districts, social service agencies and community-based organizations to aid school readiness, early literacy and parenting to under-resourced families. Children who go through the program at a young age are more likely to graduate from high school and be on-par with their middle-income peers. The Parent-Child Home Program and its National Center were created at Columbia University in New York. There are 11 Parent-Child Home Program providers in South Carolina.