Wisconsin's Early Years Home Visitation Outcomes Project
The Early Years Home Visitation Outcomes Project of Wisconsin is a collaborative effort of service providers, funders, and evaluators that are using the same outcome framework to evaluate their effectiveness.
In a unique collaboration, ten home visiting program sites in Wisconsin that use different home visitation models from one another are using the same outcome framework to evaluate their effectiveness. The Early Years Home Visitation Outcomes Project of Wisconsin (Outcomes Project) is a collaborative effort of service providers, funders, and evaluators that began in 2001. The group developed five key outcomes that are meaningful and measureable across program models based on best practices in the field. The common outcomes are: parents interact with their children in ways that enhance children’s development and early learning, children are healthy, children live in a safe environment, families access formal and informal support networks, and children achieve optimal milestones in development and early learning. Indicators to measure each outcome were also identified. The resulting framework allows home visiting providers to collect consistent evaluation data across their programs.
A diverse group of home visiting program sites began piloting the Outcomes Project in 2004. Participants include public and private service providers from rural and urban areas of the state. They utilize a variety of program models including Healthy Families, Parents as Teachers, and hybrid models that draw on several sources for content. Participating programs use the same screening and assessment tools when working with families, including the ASQ Questionnaires, Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment Inventory, and Infant Assessment and Health Care Utilization Screenings. Programs input data into a secure central database administered by the Division of Public Health. Data helps assess the impact of home visiting on families and identify areas for quality improvement.
The results of the 2008 and 2009 Outcome evaluation reports suggested that home visiting services are positively impacting the health and well-being of children served by participating programs. One of the key findings showed that 83 percent of children served by Outcomes Project programs received developmental screenings in 2009, compared to just 26 percent of all children in the state. Outcomes Project children also show higher rates of immunizations and preventative medical visits. The data collected during these first years will be used as a baseline for measuring programs impact over time.
The 2014 Outcome Attainment Report contains analysis of 787 children actively enrolled in one of the eight participating home visiting programs. Key findings in 2014 were:
- The immunization status for 395 infants was assessed, and 378 (96 percent) infants were on schedule to be fully immunized by age 2.
- The status of wellness exams for 392 infants was assessed, and 376 (96 percent) were up to date with well-child exams as recommended by the physicians’ periodicity schedule.
In 2014, 561 children received nearly 900 ASQ:SE screenings. 84 percent of children with a potential concern received at least ine service within two months of identification. A total of 395 mothers were screened for depression in 2014, with 154 (39 percent) exhibiting depression symptoms. Of the 154 clients actively having depression symptoms, 106 (69 percent) received a plan of action for additional follow-up services.
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