Summary of Healthy Families Performance Indicators and Service Expectations

October 24, 2014

mom_daughter_pumpkins


Healthy Families Oregon (HFO) provides voluntary, evidence-based home visitation to high-risk families in 35 Oregon counties. The HFO program is accredited by the Healthy Families America program, which was rated in 2010 as meeting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) criteria for evidence-based home visiting models
(see www.promisingpractices.net and http://homvee.acf.hhs.gov/Default.aspx.)

In 2012-2013, HFO provided risk screening and basic information to 8,814 first-time mothers across the state – about half of all first births. Families who are identified through this screening process as being at high risk for child maltreatment and other negative outcomes are offered intensive, evidence-based home visitation services – in 2012-1013, 2,958 families received home visiting, making HFO the state’s largest child abuse prevention program.

Rigorous program evaluation is a core required program element for Healthy Families America. Oregon has contracted with NPC Research to compile information collected by programs and conduct service implementation and outcome evaluation for over 10 years. This ongoing evaluation allows the state central administration and local programs to continually review data, ensure outcomes-based accountability, and to use this data for continuous program improvement.

Key findings from the FY 2012-2013 Performance Indicators and Service Expectations evaluation for Siskiyou Community Health Center’s Healthy Families program are summarized below.

• High quality service delivery: 100% of new families in the program received their first home visit prenatally or within 3 months of the baby’s birth. 74% of the families remained in the program for 12 months or longer.

• Fully immunized: 90% of the children served have up-to-date immunizations.

• Read frequently to their young children: 96% of Healthy Families’ parents reported reading to their children 3 times per week or more. In Oregon, the National Survey of Children’s Health (2007) found that 85% of parents in the general population read this often to their children, and rates are considerably lower for Oregon’s low-income families (76%).

• Increased positive parenting: After one year of home visiting, 93% of parents consistently engaged in positive, nurturing interactions with their children.

• Decreased parenting stress: 67% of parents reported a decrease in parenting-related stress from the time of the child’s birth to the 6-month birthday, a time when parents generally experience elevated levels of parenting-related stress.

Healthy Families Oregon has consistently documented positive outcomes for parents and children for over 10 years. During FY 2012-2013, program participants showed improvements across a variety of domains known to be important to supporting children’s healthy development and reducing the risk of child maltreatment. Further, the program is showing considerable success at the state and local levels in meeting the standards set by Healthy Families America, thus ensuring home visiting services are consistent with evidence-based best practices.