Mersky, J. P., Choi, C., Langlieb, J., Plummer Lee, C., & Chang, P. (2022). Increasing equitable access to home visiting: An independent implementation study of Family Connects. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research.
Objectives: Home visiting programs often provide long-term services to at-risk populations, though briefer, universal interventions like Family Connects are increasingly being disseminated to bring home visiting to scale. Extending research by the model’s developers in North Carolina, this paper presents findings from the first independent implementation study of Family Connects.
Method: Observational data were drawn from program records entered between August 2017 and February 2020 at a new Family Connects site in [location blinded]. Indicators of program acceptance, participation, and fidelity were examined. Data collected during home visits were used to describe family needs and demographics. An analysis of data gathered after program completion examined consumer satisfaction and referral connections.
Results: Of 2,304 families who were offered the program, 1,778 (77.2%) accepted services and 1,107 (48.0%) received services. Replicating prior findings, the program was implemented with high fidelity. Most participants had some need for education (99.4%), and over half (50.6%) had a need that warranted a referral. Family needs varied by race/ethnicity, educational attainment, and health insurance status. Post-program data gathered from 648 participants revealed high levels of program satisfaction and high rates of referral connections.
Conclusion: Interpretations of the findings and implications for health equity are discussed.