Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

Family Foundations Home Visiting Program

Home visiting programs are for pregnant women and families with a child under age 5. Generally, home visitors are nurses, social workers, or other professionals. The family and home visitor build a strong working relationship and work together to meet the family’s goals related to child and family well-being.

A trained home visitor comes to the home or another place that the families chooses at a time that works well for the family. At the visits, families learn about:

  • Keeping themselves and their children healthy
  • Helping their children grow and develop
  • Other help available to them in the community

Home visiting programs are voluntary, and the goal is to offer help to women as early as possible during pregnancy and throughout their child's first few years. Some of the visit activities could include:

  • Assisting with accessing quality prenatal care
  • Conducting screenings and assessments
  • Providing health education
  • Connecting the family to valuable community resources
  • Offering strategies for parents to support their child’s development physically, socially, and emotionally

Find a Program in Your Area

Parent Resources

 

Wisconsin’s Family Foundations Home Visiting Program Models

Wisconsin Family Foundations Home Visiting Program (FFHV) programs are voluntary for families, and use intensive, nationally proven models and strategies. The FFHV Program is funded through a combination of federal and state dollars. FFHV is led by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services/Division of Public Health. DCF funds a portion of the home visiting programs across the state using national models that have proven results.

The following national models are funded in Wisconsin by FFHV:

Home Visiting Professional Development

UW-Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership

Home visiting training and technical assistance is coordinated through the UW-Milwaukee’s Helen Bader School of Social Work - Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership (MCWP). MCWP provides a wide array of professional development opportunities, including a specialized focus on supporting home visitors, their supervisors and program managers.

Training is available statewide and open to all professionals. Professional development training opportunities can be found on the Home Visiting Training Calendar.

Additional resources can be found in the Resource Toolkit for Home Visiting and other Early Childhood Professionals.

 

Reflective Practice Consultation

FFHV program sites partner with the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health to build the reflective capacities and infant mental health competencies of Wisconsin Family Foundations Home Visiting Program (FFHV) program staff.

Each program is assigned a consultant who provides a two-hour Reflective Consultation Group to home visitors. It is followed by at least an hour of on-site support to supervisor(s).

These groups occur on-site monthly.

 

Addressing postpartum depression

Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF), in collaboration with the UW-Madison Department of Psychiatry, is implementing an evidence-based approach to address high rates of maternal depression in the FFHV. This project explores ways in which the strong, trusted relationships home visitors build with families can be utilized to promote:

  • Healthy coping strategies
  • Reduce traditional barriers to addressing mental health needs

The project offers extensive professional development to home visitors on the topics of:

  • Maternal mental health
  • Supporting healthy mother-infant relationships

Performance Standards, Evaluation, and Continuous Quality Improvement

Performance Standards

The target population for Wisconsin Family Foundations Home Visiting Program (FFHV) is pregnant and post-partum women and their families residing in at-risk communities. Home visiting programs prioritize services to families with:

  • low incomes
  • pregnant women under age 21
  • history of child abuse or neglect
  • history of substance abuse
  • tobacco use in the home
  • low academic achievement
  • children with developmental delays or disabilities
  • family members that are serving or have served in the armed forces

Home visiting programs have goals of enrolling at least 75 percent of families during pregnancy and at least 60 percent of families experiencing 3 or more of the above risk factors.

As of October 1, 2016,FFHV  reports annually on 19 performance and system outcome measures.

 

Evaluation

The FFHV Program partners with researchers from the UW-Milwaukee to support program evaluation. One study included investigations about the impact of home visiting services on parent and child outcomes. Other studies have focused on family health, well-being, and service experiences. The information is used to examine factors influencing levels of family participation and engagement to better understand the staff-client relationship. 

 

Continuous Quality Improvement

Home visiting programs participate in a statewide Continuous Quality Improvement team. The team selects improvement projects and sets shared project goals to promote collaborative learning and the spread of ideas that work. Programs test out improvement ideas at their local sites using plan-do-study-act cycles and report back to the full team each month.

Early Childhood Partnerships

Wisconsin Family Foundations Home Visiting Program (FFHV) works closely with a variety of partners from multiple state agencies, including:

  • Department of Health Services Family Health Section and Birth to Three
  • Department of Public Instruction
  • Office of Children’s Mental Health
  • Wisconsin’s Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board
  • Local home visiting programs
  • Local United Ways
  • Other non-profit agency partners to embed home visiting in robust early childhood systems on the state and local level.

FFHV and home visiting agency staff are involved in a large number of state and local activities related to:

  • Improving maternal and child health
  • Enhancing early childhood education
  • Reducing child abuse and neglect
  • Promoting social emotional development of infants and toddlers
  • Creating opportunities for more meaningful parent engagement in program and policy decision-making.

These efforts all focus on improving care systems for pregnant women and families with young children.

Family Foundations Home Visiting Program Reports

The FFHV Annual Report highlights the major accomplishments of participating families, funded programs and the state home visiting team.