By Cinthia Diaz, Program Assistant, First 5 Center for Children's Policy
In our blog series about home visiting during COVID-19, we’re focusing on the impact that home visitors are having on the families they serve. Both services and the mode of service delivery are changing to meet families’ need to feel connected and supported. As home visiting continues to adapt to meet the moment, it’s important to understand the existing landscape of home visiting in our state.
All 58 counties in California implement a home visiting program, according to data reported by counties. Fifty-five counties implement at least one evidence-based model as classified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Early Head Start Home Based model is the most common home visiting program among California counties, currently in use in 40 counties. Healthy Families America is operating in 25 counties, Parents as Teachers in 23, Nurse Family Partnership in 20, and Family Spirit in 8.
Counties implement these programs through various funding streams and according to various program rules. Forty-four counties are participating in the CalWORKs Home Visiting Program. This voluntary program serves parents receiving assistance through the CalWORKs program. In order for counties to receive funding through this program, they must use a home visiting model with demonstrated evidence of effectiveness. Most counties use one, or a combination, of the following HHS classified evidence-based models: Early Head Start, Nurse Family Partnership, Healthy Families America, or Parents as Teachers. Twenty-two counties participate in the California Home Visiting Program (CHVP), which is funded through federal and state sources. Counties receiving CHVP funding must use the Healthy Families America or Nurse Family Partnership model. Many home visiting programs are partially or fully funded by other sources, including First 5 county commissions.
It has taken years for the home visiting landscape in California to look like this. Prior to 2018, California was not one of the states investing directly in voluntary, evidence-based home visiting. We have made significant strides to expand services as far as we have, and will protect our hard work to strengthen family services.