Healthy Families Home Visiting Program

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

The Healthy Families Home Visiting Program, also called Healthy Families Massachusetts (HFM), provides home visits for first-time parents under the age of 21. Parents are eligible during pregnancy until their child reaches the age of three. This program has no income limit; however, priority for services is given to low-income families and parents with at-risk newborns. The program is administered by the Children's Trust Fund (CTF).

HFM is based on the Healthy Families America model of home visiting stressing the importance of early, nurturing relationships as the foundation of healthy development. The program promotes positive parent-child relationships focused on a strengths-based and culturally sensitive family centered approach. The Massachusetts program utilizes weekly home visits for eligible first time parents. The visits help determine family needs while providing parenting support, information, services and referrals. Services include educational assistance, information on health care and child development, guidance on positive relationship building, domestic violence information and prevention as well as other services which promote the well-being of each family member.

The goals of the program are: to prevent child abuse and neglect by supporting positive parenting; to achieve optimal development in infancy and early childhood; to encourage education, job, and life skills attainment among young parents; to prevent repeat pregnancies during the teen years; and to promote parental health and well-being. Although offered to all families, priority for services is given to parents facing severe challenges including: single parenthood, low income, childhood history of abuse and neglect, and issues related to substance abuse, mental health, or domestic violence.

In FY 2014, CTF partnered with 25 programs across Massachusetts to serve over 2,950 families. In FY 2015, the program received an approximate $3.5 million increase. CTF estimates this will allow them to provide services for an additional 1,200 families.

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