Engagement in Paraprofessional Home Visitation. Families' Reasons for Enrollment and Program Response to Identified Reasons

S. Darius Tandon*, Kathleen Parillo, Constance Mercer, Maureen Keefer, Anne K. Duggan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Home visitation programs have exhibited modest impact in promoting maternal and child health outcomes; therefore, formative research is necessary to examine whether home visiting program models or actual implementation need to be modified. In particular, client engagement and retention have been identified as areas in which program implementation can be enhanced. This study assessed home visiting clients' reasons for entering home visiting programs and their perception of programs' response to these identified needs. We asked newly enrolled home visiting clients (n = 123) to identify reasons for entering their home visiting program, including their first and second most important reasons. The most frequently cited reasons for enrolling were wanting information about job training, completing one's education, keeping in good health during pregnancy, and learning about infant growth and development. Home visiting programs' response to clients' identified needs varied. Needs more closely related to home visiting program goals of providing parenting education and promoting prenatal health were most often met, whereas needs less closely related to program goals (e.g., life course needs such as information about job training or education) were less often met. Our findings suggest that home visiting programs in urban contexts should consider modifying their program protocols to better respond to employment- and education-related issues facing their clients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-129
Number of pages12
JournalWomen's Health Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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