If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I'd finger-paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.

~Diane Loomans, from "If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again"

Home Visiting Definition

Home visiting programs offer voluntary, in home services to prenatal families and to those families with young children. Trained home visitors meet with families in the comfort and security of their own family home, providing the knowledge, skills, and resources for healthy child development. Home visitors also connect families to a wide array of community services, assessments and supports. It is important to state that home visiting is a strategy for delivering services; it is not a service itself.

Studies show that quality, evidence based home visiting services generate better health outcomes, greater school readiness, higher academic achievement, increased parental involvement, reduced child maltreatment and eventually, decreased juvenile delinquency.

Quality home visiting/parent mentoring programs can reduce costs and improve outcomes:

• High-quality programs, in which trained, professional mentors support at-risk expectant and new parents, can cut nearly in half the number of low-birthweight births, saving $28,000-$40,000 for each one averted. They also delay potentially costly second births.
• By reducing child abuse and neglect by up to 80%, home visiting programs can save states some of the $33 billion in annual medical, legal, and other costs associated with these problems.
• Toddlers who participated in the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program had 32% fewer emergency room visits than their peers and 56% fewer visits for injuries and poisonings.
• Parents in the NFP program saw an 82% increase in the number of months employed, while the time they received welfare benefits shrank by 30 months.
• An Australian study found that children in a nurse home visiting program had lower body mass index ranges at age 2. The program also improved other factors linked with obesity, such as TV viewing times and infant feeding practices.

Providing learning opportunities in the home environment:

1. Works in the family's most comfortable and intimate environment
2. Supports learning opportunities using household items and incorporating daily routines
3. Overcomes barriers such as transportation and parental difficulties of attending outside settings
4. Individualizes services, reflecting the child's and family's needs, learning styles and cultural beliefs.