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Wisconsin’s Early Years Home Visitation Outcomes Project
Home Visiting, Quality Improvement, Accountability & Evaluation
Source Of Information:
ZERO TO THREE Policy Center state updates
In a unique collaboration, ten home visiting program sites in Wisconsin that use different home visitation models from one another are using the same outcome framework to evaluate their effectiveness. The Early Years Home Visitation Outcomes Project of Wisconsin (Outcomes Project) is a collaborative effort of service providers, funders, and evaluators that began in 2001. The group developed five key outcomes that are meaningful and measureable across program models based on best practices in the field. The common outcomes are: parents interact with their children in ways that enhance children’s development and early learning; children are healthy; children live in a safe environment; families access formal and informal support networks; and children achieve optimal milestones in development and early learning. Indicators to measure each outcome were also identified. The resulting framework allows home visiting providers to collect consistent evaluation data across their programs.
A diverse group of home visiting program sites began piloting the Outcomes Project in 2004. Participants include public and private service providers from rural and urban areas of the state. They utilize a variety of program models including Healthy Families, Parents as Teachers, and hybrid models that draw on several sources for content. Participating programs use the same screening and assessment tools when working with families, including the ASQ Questionnaires, Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment Inventory, and Infant Assessment and Health Care Utilization Screenings. Programs input data into a secure central database administered by the Division of Public Health. Data helps assess the impact of home visiting on families and identify areas for quality improvement.
The results of the 2008 and 2009 Outcome evaluation reports suggest that home visiting services are positively impacting the health and well-being of children served by participating programs. One of the key findings showed that 83% of children served by Outcomes Project programs received developmental screenings in 2009, compared to just 26% of all children in the state. Outcomes Project children also show higher rates of immunizations and preventative medical visits. The data collected during these first years will be used as a baseline for measuring programs’ impact over time.
The 2012 Outcome Attainment Report contains analysis of 688 children actively enrolled in one of the eight participating home visiting programs. Some key findings in 2012 are:
• A total of 383 infants had a basic health screening and 96 percent were up to date for their age and on track to be fully immunized by age 2. In addition, 98.1 percent had all recommended well-child visits for their age as advised by the American Academy of Pediatrics. • A total of 305 children older than 1 year had their healthcare utilization reviewed and 96.7 percent were up to date on all scheduled immunizations. In addition, 90.8 percent had received a routine health exam within the last 12 months. • Overall, of the 688 children enrolled in the Outcomes Project, 679 (99.7 percent) had a primary care doctor, nurse practitioner, or clinic where they go for medical care. • 556 children enrolled received an Ages & Stages Questionnaires-3™ developmental screening. A total of 145 (71.8 percent) of children received at least one service within 2 months of identification of potential delay, score in the monitoring zone, or parental concern.