Report

States and the New Federal Home Visiting Initiative: An Assessment from the Starting Line

  • August 24, 2011

States making investments in voluntary home visiting programs too rarely use evidence of effectiveness to inform their policy decisions, according to a new report by the Pew Center on the States' Home Visiting Campaign.

States and the New Federal Home Visiting Initiative: An Assessment from the Starting Line looks at the extent to which all 50 states and the District of Columbia are supporting evidence-based program models. It also considers how well each is tracking whether public expenditures are yielding expected outcomes. The report concludes that oversight and funding for home visiting are inadequate to provide at-risk families with effective home visiting services and to give taxpayers the best return on their investment.

Top findings include:

  • Most home visiting funding was not adequately tracked at the state level. 
  • States frequently provided funding with few, if any, requirements that programs invest in models with a proven record of success.
  • States did not adequately monitor publicly funded programs to ensure effectiveness.
  • States did not consistently target at-risk families, where the return on investment is highest. 
  • In every state, far too few at-risk families received home visiting services.

For more information, please visit www.pewcenteronthestates.org/homevisitinginventory.