Alberta Home Visitation
Network Association

Key Factors for Success

Home » Home Visitation » Key Factors for Success

AHVNA supports the following key elements necessary for successful Home Visitation programs:

Service Content
  • Start early –Initiate services prenatally or as soon as possible after birth.
  • Use of a Standardized Assessment tool –Use to identify families who would benefit most from Home Visitation.
  • Voluntary participation –Offer services using positive and creative efforts to build family trust; voluntary participation empowers families to set their own goals and make decisions in their own best interests.
  • Manageable caseloads –Limit staff caseloads to ensure that Home Visitors have adequate time to spend with each family (i.e., maximum 10 to 15 families at most intensive service level).
Program Content
  • Consistency –Offer intensive services (at least once a week, initially) with well-defined criteria to increase or decrease frequency of home visits depending on the family’s needs.
  • Responsiveness –Acknowledge, respect and frame the work within the cultural, linguistic, geographic, racial, gender and ethnic diversity and values of each family.
  • Parental support –Recognize family strengths, promote and support responsive parent-child interaction, foster healthy childhood development and support parents to set achievable goals.
  • Medical links –Encourage families to connect with a medical provider to ensure optimal health and development for their family.
  • Community resources –Provide referrals and connections to community programs to further enhance the growth and development of the family as a whole. Assist parents in finding programs, school readiness programs, referrals to food banks and domestic violence shelters.
Selection and Training of Home Visitors
  • Service providers – Home Visitors are hired based on appropriate personal characteristics (non-judgmental, compassionate, a sense of humour) and the ability to work within a prevention/early intervention model, plus the person’s education, experience and skill sets.
  • Basic training – Training is culturally appropriate with an emphasis on early childhood development, positive family support and parenting skill development.
  • Intensive Training – Home Visitors receive training to understand the essential components of family assessment, Home Visitation and additional strategies for working with families facing multiple challenges.
  • Supervision – Home Visitors receive ongoing, regularly scheduled reflective supervision to avoid stress-related burnout and to offer them support in their work life.