Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Enhancing Home Visitation Policy and Practice with Domestic Violence Prevention Efforts

Following substantial funding for home visitation programs in recent federal health care reform, a new brief by the Family Violence Prevention Fund encourages policymakers to embrace the opportunity to address the needs of mothers and children experiencing or at risk of experiencing domestic violence through more effective home visiting programs.

Home visitation programs have demonstrated success in improving child and family outcomes but do not realized their full potential without addressing domestic violence, which is often co-occurring with child maltreatment in a home and, according to the brief, is “the single most common precursor to child deaths” in the country. With domestic violence training for home visitors and appropriate program infrastructure, home visiting programs may more effectively reduce child maltreatment, improve maternal health and child outcomes, and improve school readiness, as well as reduce intergenerational cycles of violence.

The brief provides evidence of the effectiveness of home visiting programs and the effect of domestic violence on child and maternal well-being, promising programs, and practice recommendations.

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