Testing the Effectiveness of Healthy Families America: Outcomes and Cost-Benefits of the Healthy Families Oregon Program

Status: complete

Research Purpose: This project is a large-scale randomized study of the Healthy Families Oregon program, designed to examine the effects of HFO on substantiated maltreatment rates. In addition, the project includes detailed cost-benefit analysis of HFO to examine program and child welfare system costs. Furthermore, through this project NPC will develop and disseminate a framework and tool for supporting cost-benefit studies of child abuse and neglect prevention programs.  Healthy Start is a home visiting program based on the Healthy Families America program model, providing services to first time parents at higher risk for child welfare involvement.

Project Design: The project involves random assignment of eligible families in seven counties to either receive HFO services (1,000 families) or community services as usual (1,000 families). Random assignment takes place after screening is completed (at birth), eligibility is assessed, and families indicate they are interested in HFO if a slot is available. Each family will be tracked for two years; data sources include administrative maltreatment records; measures collected by HFO home visitors on parenting stress, home environment, child development, and family risk; and data on dosage and fidelity.

Funding Source: United States Department of Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau.

Start Date: November 2009

Project Team

Principal Investigator

Beth Green, Ph.D.

Project Director

Jerod Tarte, M.A.

Project Staff

Mark Waller, B.A.

Mary Beth Sanders, B.S.