Model Family Programs for Delinquency Prevention
Rating * Model Target * 0-5 Speciality * Comprehensive
Program * Healthy Families Indiana
Description *

  The Healthy Families program is a voluntary home visitation program designed to promote healthy families and healthy children through a variety of services including child development, access to health care and parent education. The program serves families identified as at-risk, with children 0-5 years. Program goals include prevention of negative birth outcomes (low birth weight, substance abuse, criminal activity, child abuse and neglect); increased parenting skills; healthy pregnancy practices; and the use of social systems.

Assessments are conducted either prenatally or at the time of birth. Home visiting can begin either prenatally or within 90 days after birth. The Family Support Worker (FSW) visits at least once a week for up to one year. The FSW helps establish support systems, teaches problem-solving skills, enhances positive parent-child interaction, offers information, education and referrals to community resources. Once a family is in the program, they can receive services for up to 5 years.

A comprehensive evaluation, using an experimental design was conducted with 372 families in the Hawaii Healthy Start program. The results indicate that early and intensive home visitation by paraprofessionals produces measurable benefits for participants in the areas of parental attitudes toward children, parent-child interaction patterns and type and quantity of child maltreatment. Mothers who received home visits significantly reduced their potential for physical child abuse and showed significant positive changes in maternal involvement and sensitivity to child cues. Treatment families exhibited more positive parent-child interaction patterns at both six and twelve month assessment points.

    Contact * Phyllis Kikendall 
    Address* 402 West Washington Street, W384 
        Indianapolis, IN  46204
    Phone * 317 232-4770
    Dept. of Health Promotion and Education

Funded by - Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention