Substance Use and Depression in Home Visiting Clients: Home Visitor Perspectives on Addressing Clients’ Needs




Sarah Dauber, Frances Ferayorni, Craig Henderson, Aaron Hogue, Jessica Nugent, and Jeannette Alcantara

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • Healthy Families America (HFA)
  • Parents as Teachers (PAT)


Substance use and depression are prevalent among mothers enrolled in home visiting programs and are significant risk factors for child maltreatment, yet most home visiting programs are staffed by workers who lack the training and clinical skills to address these risks. Emanating from one state network's interest in advancing its practice in this area, the current study surveyed 159 home visitors on their current practices, training, knowledge, and perceived self‐efficacy, and perceived system‐ and client‐level barriers regarding client substance use and depression. Home visitors reported managing maternal depression more extensively than substance use, though overall management of both risk areas was low. More training was associated with more extensive management of both risk domains, as was greater home visitor knowledge and self‐efficacy. Implications for the development of strategies to improve home visitor management of client behavioral health risks, including enhanced skills‐based training and supervision, are discussed. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Surveys or questionnaires


For More Information

Dauber, S., Ferayorni, F., Henderson, C., Hogue, A., Nugent, J., & Alcantara, J. (2017). Substance use and depression in home visiting clients: Home visitor perspectives on addressing clients' needs. Journal of Community Psychology, 45, 3, 396-412.
doi: 10.1002/jcop.21855
Author contact information:
Sarah Daubner


  • Home Visiting Workforce Characteristics and Workforce Development
  • Participant Characteristics