The Healthy Families Study


This study compares three groups: (a) families who enrolled in a long-term home visiting program, (b) families who enrolled in a short-term home visiting program, and (c) families who declined services. Participants in all three study conditions complete assessments at four time points for a 12-month period. This captures change over time in maternal and child health, parenting practices, and child development.

The Healthy Families Study is a randomized trial of two home visiting programs at the Milwaukee Health Department’s Southside Health Center. One program, Empowering Families of Milwaukee (EFM), implements the Healthy Families of America curriculum. The EFM program begins prenatally and lasts up to three years postpartum. The second program, Parents Nurturing and Caring for their Children (PNCC), is a Medicaid benefit that is available to eligible clients up to 60 days postpartum.

Study participation is voluntary, and no families are denied services based on the study design. However, many families referred for home visiting services do not ultimately enroll in a program. To study this group, a third quasi-experimental study arm consists of families who were referred to the Health Department for services but did not enroll.


Colleen Janczewski
Cali McAtee
Joshua Mersky
Dimitri Topitzes


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration
Award No. 1 D89MC26367-01-00


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program

Milwaukee Health Department

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