In 2019 Delaware passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 50 (SCR 50) requiring the Department of Health and Social Services – in collaboration with the Department of Education and Delaware Home Visiting Community Advisory Board – to produce an annual report on home visiting programs throughout the state.
The purpose of the report is to better understand the current home visiting landscape in the state so recommendations for improvements and expansion can be made. An overview of the programs and models used in the state will provide a deeper understanding of the continuum of home visiting in supporting children and families. Further, the report will detail the strengths and challenges and how home visiting connects to the broader early childhood and family support systems.
Details in the report will include summaries of current practices and challenges among all evidence-based programs, including operating agencies, funding streams, and fidelity to the model. Information about currently operating programs such as geographic reach, performance analysis of programs, workforce and family demographic data and needs assessment. The information gathered will inform recommendations for strategies to improve recruitment and retention of staff and families, how to support equitable access and capacity to meet community need including continuity of services as children age, and family engagement techniques.
Delaware currently offers a range of evidence-based home visiting programs including Nurse Family Partnership, Healthy Families America, Parents as Teachers, and Early Head Start Home Visiting. These programs offer multi-generational education and support for families with young children. As described by the advocacy group Rodel and the Delaware Early Childhood Council 2020-2025 Vision, Delaware enrolls 2% of eligible Delaware families and at the time of the legislation programs were serving 80% of their capacity.
The first annual report was delivered in April 2022 with plans to review by the General Assembly and Delaware Early Childhood Council to identify opportunities to advance home visiting in the coming months.