Home Visiting New Hampshire
The Maternal and Child Health Section (MCHS) has a long history of providing statewide home visiting services. Today, MCHS contracts with seven statewide community-based nonprofit organizations and eleven sites to provide the comprehensive Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV). Home Visiting New Hampshire uses the Healthy Families America (HFA) Model. HFA is a research-based voluntary home visiting model that embodies the belief that early nurturing relationships are the foundation for lifelong healthy development. It is family-centered, culturally sensitive, strength-based and proven effective in promoting healthy child development and preventing child abuse and neglect.
The HFA model is equipped to work with families who are most at-risk of child maltreatment and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) due to a history of trauma, intimate partner violence, mental health disorders and/or substance misuse. An emphasis for services is placed upon the most vulnerable populations: pregnant adolescents; new mothers under the age of 25; women pregnant with their first child; women at risk for having health problems during their pregnancy; and, pregnant women or mothers with substance abuse problems. Services begin prenatally or right after the birth of a baby and are offered voluntarily and intensively over a 3-year span after the birth of the baby.
The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest studies ever conducted assessing the associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. ACEs include experiences such as verbal, physical, or sexual abuse; an incarcerated mentally ill or substance-abusing family member; domestic violence; or, the absence of a parent because of divorce or separation. ACEs have been linked to a range of adverse health outcomes in adulthood, including substance abuse, depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and premature death.
The HFA model was developed in 1992 by Prevent Child Abuse America is based upon 12 Critical Elements derived from more than 30 years of research to ensure programs are effective in working with families. Together families and home visitors discuss concerns such as healthy pregnancies, quitting smoking, depression, and healthy child development. Families receive support in their roles as their child's first and best teacher and learn ways to help their child grow and learn.
- Enhance family functioning by reducing risk and building protective factors (reduce child abuse and neglect)
- Promote healthy child development and growth
- Cultivate and strengthen nurturing parent-child relationships
- Child Health including increased birth weight
- Family self-sufficiency
- Coordination of services and referrals by building and sustaining community partnerships to systematically engage overburdened families prenatally or at birth
MCH also funds the Division of Children Youth and Families Comprehensive Family Support Services Program that has a component of Home Visiting.
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