Who Could Benefit?
Early childhood home visiting provides support and connections that can benefit all pregnant and parenting families. Nationally, we estimate close to 18 million pregnant women and families are potential beneficiaries, including all pregnant women and families with children under 6 years old and not yet in kindergarten.
This broad estimate includes 16.5 million families with young children and 1.2 million pregnant women without young children, according to estimates from the American Community Survey (2014–2018). (Source: The 2014–2018 [American Community Survey](https://usa.ipums.org/usa/index.shtml) is the most recent 5-year file available at the time of analysis. The estimate of pregnant women is based on mothers with infants, with certain adjustments. See the [methodology section](https://nhvrc.org/yearbook/2020-yearbook/methodology/) for more information on methods.)Go to footnote #>1
Many families have more than one child who could benefit from home visiting. If we estimate the number of individual children rather than families, we find more than 23 million children could potentially benefit from home visiting. This number includes approximately—
Home visiting has great potential to improve the lives of all young children and families, yet limited resources restrict the number that receive services. As a result, most home visiting services are geared toward particular subpopulations, including families with infants, low-income families, young mothers, and expectant mothers.
Other priority populations include—
- Single mothers
- Parents with low education
- Families with a history of substance abuse or child maltreatment
- Children with developmental delays
- Other families at risk of poor child outcomes
How Many Families and Children Fall Within the Priority Populations?
It is not possible to quantify some of these families in our estimates using the American Community Survey, which does not collect data on substance abuse, child maltreatment, or developmental delays. To account for this reality, the 2020 Home Visiting Yearbook contains estimates of two different types of data: (1) five potential targeted populations captured by the American Community Survey and (2) other maternal and child health indicators that commonly reflect child risk and/or child well-being. The charts featured on the Maternal and Child Health Data page provide national and state data for each indicator, followed by the definition of the indicator and applicable data source(s).
Expanding Home Visiting’s Reach Through Unexpected Allies
For nearly 20 years, Bruce Clash has helped promote the benefits of evidence-based home visiting with the help of law enforcement officials who recognize the value of early investment in children and families. Clash serves as the Pennsylvania state director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a nationwide organization of 5,000+ police chiefs, sheriffs, district attorneys, and others working to protect public safety by steering kids away from crime.
Home visiting and law enforcement might not seem like natural partners, Clash says, but the two fields have shared priorities. Both seek to reduce the toll of child maltreatment and substance abuse, including opioid abuse, on families and communities. And both point to the research linking parenting skills with academic and behavioral improvements in children.
“From the law enforcement perspective, evidence-based home visiting programs can increase public safety by influencing positive outcomes that create stronger families.”