Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey (PCA-NJ), a state chapter of the nonprofit national organization Prevent Child Abuse, began an effort called the New Jersey Academy for Home Visitation Training in 2006 to:
This project was funded under New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI), a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). See Program Results for more information on the program.
What is Evidence-Based Home Visitation? Evidence-based home visitation refers to voluntary programs that meet federally mandated requirements for family-focused services—prenatally through early childhood—delivered in the home environment. These services must be:
Home visitation services commonly target specific population groups, such as first-time mothers; parents who are young, low income, less educated or substance abusing; or those who have low birthweight or developmentally compromised infants or children.
Research and practice have demonstrated that early home visitation programs for families with very young children can reduce the incidence of child maltreatment and delinquency, and improve the health, social and developmental functioning of mothers and their babies.
Training Recipients: Staff focused their training efforts on employees of three New Jersey affiliates of nationally recognized programs that already used voluntary, evidence-based home visitation practices:
The training was designed to help these organizations expand the home visiting capacity of their existing New Jersey program sites and, in some instances, achieve new site certification from their national organizations.
Some eight other programs in New Jersey also received training, including Early Head Start, Early Intervention, public health departments (especially nurses) and Special Child Health Services.
Key Results: According to Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey Chapter, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families played a significant role in the expansion of home visiting capacity by providing much of the direct funding to sites for staffing. By working closely with them, the chapter's New Jersey Academy for Home Visitation Training:
Twenty-six training events covered supplemental topics, including:
Funding: RWJF supported this project from July 2006 through July 2009 with a grant of $304,764 through its NJHI program. The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the New Jersey Chapter of the March of Dimes provided additional general funding. The New Jersey Department of Children and Families and the Nicholson Foundation funded some specific training.
Afterward: In 2009, PCA-NJ received a four-year grant from the New Jersey Department of Children and Families to coordinate a central intake system for clients of home visiting and other family support services in Essex County, N.J. The grant of $125,000 per year was supported with a $150,000 annual match from the Nicholson Foundation.
In 2009 and 2010, staff trained home visitors of two newly created home visiting program sites in New Jersey having a combined capacity to serve 91 families.
Staff planned to present a talk on the central client intake system in Essex county and related topics at the Parents As Teachers 2010 national conference.
Staff continued to offer fee-for-service training in family support issues targeted primarily to home visitors. In general, fees covered the additional ancillary costs of this training but not trainers' salaries.