CFRP Develops New Survey Instrument to Help Determine the Value of Home Visiting

May 11, 2017fathers, home visiting, mothers

123213079_smResearch indicates that evidence-based home visiting programs should benefit the families who participate in them through improvements in maternal and child health, parenting attitudes and behaviors, better cognitive and social-emotional outcomes for children, and a lower incidence of child abuse and maltreatment. However, existing performance measures do not measure all of the ways participation in home visiting programs is related to positive outcomes for children and families.

Given the high level of investment at the federal and state level into evidence-based home visiting programs, identifying the extent to which home visiting programs provide value for families and children even if they do not complete the program is important for demonstrating home visiting as a sound investment.

The aim of the evaulation is to demonstrate how home visiting programs provide value to families in key parenting aspects that current federal benchmarks and state performance measures do not capture.

The state of Texas continues to invest in home visiting programs as an important support for families, and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has prioritized understanding the ways in which home visiting programs provide value for families.

The Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP) is working with the department’s Prevention and Early Intervention division to conduct an exploratory descriptive evaluation, Describing Home Visiting Value Evaluation (DHVVE), to identify the ways in which home visiting programs provide value to participating families and how these benefits vary across family and program factors.

The aim of DHVVE is to demonstrate how home visiting programs provide value to families enrolled in the Texas Home Visiting (THV) program, specifically in key parenting aspects that current federal benchmarks and state performance measures do not capture.

CFRP and the DFPS Prevention and Early Intervention division have developed a short, 10-minute instrument called the Parent Check-In (PCI) survey for the project. The PCI is administered by home visitors to parents participating in the THV program all over the state. The PCI measures change over time in key parenting outcomes, including:

  • family self-sufficiency
  • parent routines and engagement
  • parenting efficacy
  • parenting stress
  • discipline techniques

To date, the PCI has been administered to over 2,000 Texas Home Visiting program participants. For more information about the PCI or if you’re interested in using it for your work, please contact cfrp@austin.utexas.edu.

For more about CFRP’s work on home visiting, go to Publications | Home Visiting.