Indiana's MIECHV Team Engages Hard to Reach Families
The Indiana Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Team (MIECHV) prioritizes its outreach efforts to ensure family retention in their program through both comprehensive outreach and the employment of creative retention efforts.
Healthy Families Indiana (HFI) and Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) provide home visiting services under the umbrella of the Indiana MIECHV team. Both programs use a strengths-based approach to maximize outreach. To accomplish this, home visitors have participated in Indiana’s Institute for Strengthening Families’ professional development program that offers sessions twice a year on best practices and specialized education opportunities. Sessions cover topics such as cultural competency, infant mental health certification, and training for home visitors to become lactation consultants.
Emphasis is placed on relationship building, from referral to evaluation. The team demonstrates success in engaging difficult to reach families through communicating a clear understanding of home visiting programs to community partners. This practice ensures that a family’s first experience is one of acceptance, openness and an offer of service. The use of client-centered scheduling and emphasizing the partnership between home visiting staff and families is accomplished via multiple communications platforms. This level of persistence and flexibility connects back to Indiana’s approach to strengths-based service. Family support includes checking in, calling, texting, using social media (upon consent), dropping by, writing cards, bringing by books or diapers and sharing activity ideas. This practice translates into the programs’ evaluation; Indiana’s MIECHV team frequently seeks out both formal and informal feedback from participating families in order to identify what engages families and what elements of the program need improvement.
In FY 2019 Indiana’s MIECHV program, Indiana Home Visiting, provided 36,014 home visits across 2,329 households.
Revised June 2020
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