Brief Motivational Interviewing Training for Home Visitors: Results for Caregiver Retention and Referral Engagement




Jacklyn Biggs, Jessica Sprague-Jones, Teri Garstka, and Deborah Richardson

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • Early Head Start Home-Based Option
  • Healthy Families America (HFA)
  • Other Models
  • Parents as Teachers (PAT)


Many home visiting programs deliver evidence-based curricula to expectant or new parents to improve child and family outcomes, and home visitors need effective tools to keep families engaged and connected. This study investigated the use of Motivational Interviewing (MI) to keep families connected and engaged in home visiting programs. Using a pre-post training longitudinal design, we evaluated the effect of MI training on: a) knowledge and utilization of MI strategies, b) families completing referrals for community-based support services, and c)
retention in home visiting services. Data from home visitors (n=27) receiving MI training and the caregivers (n=795) served were analyzed in the study. Training increased knowledge and use of MI strategies, increased completed caregiver referrals, and significantly improved caregiver retention in home visiting. Implications for practice are discussed. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Program administrative record reviews
  • Standardized assessment tools
  • Surveys or questionnaires



For More Information

Biggs, J., Sprague-Jones, J., Garstka, T., & Richardson, D. (2018). Brief motivational interviewing training for home visitors: Results for caregiver retention and referral engagement. Children and Youth Services Review, 94, 56–64. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.09.021
Author Contact Information:
Jacklyn Biggs


  • Home Visiting Workforce Characteristics and Workforce Development
  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes
  • Program Enhancements, Innovations, and Promising Approaches
  • Participant Recruitment, Retention, Engagement, and Dosage