Online Program

MCH Nurse Home Visitation: Durham Connects and the Family Connects Model

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 1:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Elizabeth Stevens, MPH, RN, Durham Connects, Durham, NC
Robert A. Murphy, PhD, Center for Child and Family Health, Executive Director, Durham, NC
Background: Postpartum home visitation is a widespread early-intervention strategy for most industrialized nations.  It is often free, voluntary, and embedded in a comprehensive child and maternal health system.  In the US, however, most home visiting programs provide long-term, intensive services for targeted groups.  To date, no home visitation program has been scaled up to achieve population-level impact.

Description: Family Connects is a model for postpartum home visitation based on evaluation of the Durham Connects program.  Nurses conduct a high-inference interview to assess needs and connect families with appropriate community resources.  Participating families are found to have more community service connections, more positive parenting behaviors, safer home environments, higher quality child care utilization, less maternal clinical anxiety, and less infant emergency medical care.  These findings suggest $3.02 in savings for each $1.00 spent.

Lessons Learned: As the only HomVEE-approved model for universal home visiting, Family Connects is a promising approach nationwide.  It remains to be seen whether these impacts can be achieved across all settings.  To date, the model is replicated in one rural and two urban communities.  Family Connects must remain true to its evidence base while flexible in its implementation to be truly community-owned.

Implications: Further research is needed in a variety of communities to conclude whether universal postpartum home visitation can be viable as a national policy.  In today’s fiscal climate, the Family Connects model must show positive health and parenting outcomes as well as financial savings.  Further evaluation should be an integral part of Family Connects dissemination.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Identify reasons to offer postpartum home visits universally throughout a community. Differentiate between a universal home visiting model and more common targeted home visiting models. Explain the need to evaluate universal home visiting in a variety of urban and rural settings.

Keyword(s): Evidence-Based Practice, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been primarily responsible for the dissemination of the Family Connects model with several communities around the US to date. I have been with the program for more than 3 years, and thus consider myself an expect on the model. My academic areas of interest include maternal and child health, parent child attachment, community health assessment, and public health program implementation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.