Why This Matters

Home visiting programs are designed to enhance the well-being and development of young children by providing prenatal and other maternal health care.

-Hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives on June 9, 2009

Low-income families are faced with many additional challenges surrounding the already difficult task of parenting. Home visiting programs connect families with trained professionals who work with the family in their home environment to provide various services designed to enhance the well-being and development of young children by supporting parents and caregivers. This is done by:

  • Demonstrating parenting techniques
  • Offering health resources for infants and new or expectant mothers
  • Answering parents’ questions about caring for their child
  • Providing developmental screenings
  • Referring families to other services as needed

What Are The Facts?

Current evidence-based home visiting models in Westchester (including Early Head StartHealthy Families AmericaParent Child Home Program, and Parents as Teachers) report a variety of positive results: healthier birth outcomes, lower incidence of abuse or neglect, and better school readiness.

Take a look at recent snapshot of home visiting in Westchester from the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy:

We Can Do Better

Westchester County needs more home visiting programs. They are a critical tool for strengthening children and families, improving developmental screening of young children, and increasing referrals to needed services.

Through the Home Visiting Workgroup, WCA is taking steps to tackle this issue. We are working to:

  • Identify the most appropriate and effective models for Westchester home visiting.
  • Develop a consensus on a home visiting screening and referral tool.
  • Educate the public and policy makers in order to build political and community support for home visiting programs.
  • Secure resources to expand effective home visiting programs in Westchester.

Over the summer in 2016, WCA conducted a countywide scan of programs that offered any type or amount of home visiting services. That scan was compiled into an in-depth report that we released in June 2017.

Download the report here.


[1] U.S. Census Bureau, 2010-14 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19125, http://factfinder2.census.gov; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, 2015 Poverty Guidelines, https://aspe.hhs.gov/2015-poverty-guidelines.

[2] New York State Department of Health Center for Community Health. Request for Applications: Maternal and Infant Health Initiative (October 2012) http://www.health.ny.gov/funding/rfa/inactive/1207271237/1207271237.pdf

[3] New York State Department of Health. Vital Statistics of New York State 2012-2014; County/ZIP Code Perinatal Data Profile – 2012-2014; http://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/chac/perinatal/county/2012-2014/westchester.htm

[4] New York State Office of Children and Family Services, http://ocfs.ny.gov/main/reports/maps/counties/westchester.pdf.

[5] Fight Crime: Invest in Kids. Home Visiting in New York: A Critical Crime Prevention Strategy, 2016, https://www.strongnation.org/articles/262-home-visiting-in-new-york-a-critical-crime-prevention-strategy.

[6] Karoly, L., M. Kilburn, J. Cannon (2005). Early Childhood Interventions: Proven Results, Future Promise. RAND Corporation.

See Also

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