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Home Visitation with Psychologically Vulnerable Families

Learn how structural (dosage, target, and staffing) and process (relationships, theory of change, approach and activities) aspects of home visiting programs enhance their quality and, ultimately, their benefit to high-risk families and their young children.

mom and baby“Thirteen years ago, I wrote an article with the subtitle “Home Visitation With Psychologically Vulnerable Families” for Zero To Three (Jones, 1997). I was referring to providing home-based services to families from low socioeconomic backgrounds who were also characterized by child maltreatment, mental health difficulties, or other psychological risks. The field of home visiting was in a very different place at the time. Programs abounded but, with a few significant exceptions, they were locally designed and were not informed by research. Similarly, I was in a very different place professionally, and was seeking a career path in which I could marry the knowledge gained from more than two decades of practice with my recently acquired graduate degree. Working in the field of home visiting afforded me the opportunity to integrate these two sources of knowledge, and I embarked on a journey to enhance services to high-risk families through this service delivery mechanism.”

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