Home Visitor's Online Handbook

What Makes Home Visiting So Effective?

Home visitor with a mother, father, and sonMeeting in a family's home provides you with an opportunity to know families intimately. This sets the stage for close, trusting relationships—the critical element in any program designed to support children and their families.

By engaging in a warm, accepting relationship with parents, you support a strong and secure relationship between the parent and child. You help parents become more sensitive and responsive to their child. The secure relationship between young children and their families creates the foundation for the development of a healthy brain. The home environment allows you to support the family in creating rich learning opportunities that build on the family's everyday routines. You support the family's efforts to provide a safe and healthy environment. You customize each visit, providing culturally and linguistically responsive services.

The home visiting model allows you to provide services to families with at least one parent at home with the child or children. Families may choose this option because they want both support for their parenting and for their child's learning and development in their home. For example, you are available to families who live in rural communities and who otherwise would not be able to receive needed services. You bring services to families whose life circumstances might prevent them from participating in more structured settings or families challenged by transportation. Some programs are able to be flexible and offer services during non-traditional hours to families who work or go to school.

Every parent and home visitor brings his or her own beliefs, values, and assumptions about child-rearing to their interactions with children. Home visiting can provide opportunities to integrate those beliefs and values into the work the home visitor and family do together.

In addition to your own relationship with the family during weekly home visits, you bring families together twice a month. These socializations reduce isolation and allow for shared experiences, as well as connect them to other staff in the program.