Healthy Families America (HFA) is an evidence-based home visiting program. It was designed to reduce child maltreatment in families who have experienced risks, such as mental health concerns, substance misuse, or intimate partner violence.
Our study used administrative data to compare health outcomes of Arkansas families participating in HFA to a control population with similar demographic, socio-economic, and medical characteristics. We identified multiple health benefits for mothers and infants. When mothers had enrolled in HFA before the third trimester of pregnancy, infants were less likely to be born preterm or with low birth weight. Infants in HFA were also more likely to receive regular medical care, including immunization visits, and early intervention services. Mothers in HFA were more likely to report intent to breastfeed and to use the healthcare system, not only for their child but also for their own physical and mental health.