Best Practices

Home Visitation

The Nurse-Family Partnership is a highly refined approach to the long-established service strategy of home visiting. It has been tested, refined and found to be consistently effective in a series of scientifically-controlled studies over a 20-year period. The nurses have three fundamental goals:

  • To help women improve pregnancy outcomes by improving their health behaviors. Such activities include: improving diets; reducing use of cigarettes, alcohol and illegal drugs; and identifying emerging obstetrical problems and working with doctors and nurses in the office to treat those problems before they become more serious.
  • To help parents improve their child's health and development by providing more responsible and competent care for their children.
  • To help families become economically self-sufficient by helping parents develop a vision for their future, plan future pregnancies, continue their education and find jobs.


Low-income women who are pregnant for the first time are invited to enroll in the program. If they choose to participate, nurse home visitors work intensively with them and their families to help them become confident and skillful in addressing five areas of functioning that can shape parents' abilities to care for themselves and their children. These include: maternal and child physical health, home and neighborhood environment and safety, family and friend support, parents' learning to care for their children and parental efforts to become economically self-sufficient through pregnancy planning, education and employment.


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 Evidence-Based Programs


Recommended Strategies


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