Transitioning to Virtual Interaction During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Impact on the Family Connects Postpartum Home Visiting Program Activity




Anna Rybińska, Debra L. Best, W. Benjamin Goodman, Yu Bai, and Kenneth A. Dodge

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • Family Connects


In this paper, we analyze program activity for Family Connects (FC), an evidence-based postpartum home-visiting intervention, during the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic began, FC transitioned to a virtual protocol which maintains key psychosocial components of the in-person protocol and adjusts health assessments to address the lack of in-person contact. Program performance is contrasted for periods before the pandemic onset (April 2019–March 2020) and after the onset (April 2020–March 2021), involving 10,280 scheduled visits and 6696 visited families (46% non-Hispanic white; 20% non-Hispanic Black; 23% Hispanic; and 10% other race). Post-pandemic onset, FC program participation rates were at 89.8% of pre-pandemic levels. Home visitors observed post-onset increases in families’ concerns about home safety but declines in families’ needs related to infant care. Community connections were facilitated for 42.9% of visited families post-pandemic onset compared to 51.1% pre-pandemic onset. We conclude that post-pandemic onset virtual delivery rates of FC declined but are high enough to merit continued implementation during a period when some families will decline in-person visits. When in-person visits are deemed safe per public health guidelines, the findings suggest a hybrid approach that could maximize program outreach by prioritizing in-person contact and offering virtual delivery as a second choice. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Program administrative record reviews



For More Information

Rybińska, A., Best, D. L., Goodman, W. B., Bai, Y., & Dodge, K. A. (2022). Transitioning to virtual interaction during the COVID‐19 pandemic: Impact on the Family Connects postpartum home visiting program activity. Infant Mental Health Journal, 43(1), 159–172. https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.21953
Author Contact Information:
Anna Rybińska


  • Participant Characteristics
  • Program Enhancements, Innovations, and Promising Approaches
  • Participant Recruitment, Retention, Engagement, and Dosage