FLOURISH Reports on Strengths and Challenges of Home Visiting Programs

by | Apr 30, 2019 | Home Visiting, Infant Health, Prenatal Care

FLOURISH recently completed an assessment of home visitation programs within St. Louis. Home visiting has come up time and again as a vehicle for improving infant mortality in our region. Through home visiting programs, trained nurses, educators or community health workers visit eligible families, often those expecting a baby or with a young child, to provide them with additional support-navigating resources or assessing health and developmental milestones.

This new report explored three key areas:

  1. What types of home visiting services are being provided, how many families are being reached and where, and what outcomes are they measuring?
  2. What are the strengths, opportunities, and challenges facing home visiting providers and the families they serve?
  3. What steps can we take to improve the quality and reach of programs, as well as increase collaboration between home visiting programs and other services?

Key findings were that the St. Louis region’s robust network of providers do not regularly or systematically coordinate delivery of services. Funders and policymakers influence which services families receive and the geographic areas where services are delivered, but home visiting services are not always targeted to the zip codes where the need for services is the greatest. This means that there are gaps where high-need communities are not getting the support they need. Home visiting programs also are in competition for funding, which makes it hard to collaborate, share data or work together to improve families’ lives.

The report outlines five key recommendations to meet the needs of families and address gaps in home visiting delivering care:

  • Build trust among providers, consumers and stakeholders as the foundation for a truly collaborative effort on home visiting in the region.
  • Improve regional capacity to use data to drive efforts to design, improve and evaluate home visiting efforts.
  • Create a better intake and referral process that connects clients and their families to appropriate and desired home visiting programs and services.
  • Educate funders and policymakers about home visiting services to help strengthen investment in programs and services with the goal of reaching more individuals.
  • Adopt a regionwide approach to family recruitment and engagement for home visiting programs that promotes cultural competence and racial equity among providers and organizations.

“Home visiting services are an important way to support families where they are, especially those who have found it difficult to navigate the complex healthcare systems and other resources available to them,” said Kendra Copanas, executive director at Generate Health. “This research will help FLOURISH and our partners identify how we can collaborate with home visiting models to fill unmet needs, particularly among Black families in those zip codes with the highest rates of infant mortality.”

To learn more about the state of home visiting programs in St. Louis, download the full report here. FLOURISH hopes to support the development of a collaborative network of home visiting providers to begin implementing these recommendations. If you are interested in participating, please contact Kendra Copanas at kcopanas@generatehealthstl.org.


Recent Posts

Contact Info

5501 Delmar Blvd, #B240
St. Louis, MO 63112

Our Upcoming Events

Sign Up for Our Newsletter