Since 2011, the statewide Wisconsin Family Foundations Home Visiting Program (FFHV) has supported pregnant women and families, and helps parents of children from birth to age five to engage with resources and develop the skills to raise children who are physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to learn. The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) grant offered through the federal Maternal Child Health Bureau provides the majority of FFHV funding. A portion of funding for FFHV comes from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families grant (TANF) and General Purpose Revenue from the State of Wisconsin. FFHV is led by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. FFHV is building a strong partner base to enhance supports for medical care, mental health care, early childhood systems, safety, and parenting in order to foster optimal programming and avoid costly service duplication.
Along with federally funded home visiting programs in other states, FFHV is working to improve outcomes in six focus areas:
- Improved maternal and child health
- Prevention of child injuries, child abuse, neglect and maltreatment
- Increased school readiness and achievement
- Reduced domestic violence
- Improved family economic self-sufficiency
- Greater coordination and referrals for other community resources and support
Who does FFHV serve and who provides the services?
The FFHV program serves at-risk families that live in high-risk communities identified through a needs assessment in 2010, with a reassessment of need in 2014. In 2011, Wisconsin used a Request for Proposal process to find FFHV grant-eligible communities based on the needs assessment and on the following risk factors: high percentages of preterm and low birth weight infants, poverty and unemployment; high rates of substance abuse, domestic violence and crime, and child maltreatment; high rates of infant mortality; school dropout rates; disproportionate rates of infant mortality among African Americans; and racial and ethnic disparities.
Qualified parent educators, registered nurses, social workers, and family support workers offer at-risk families weekly to monthly visits determined by risk and strength assessments and duration of program enrollment.
What models of intervention does FFHV use?
FFHV programs are voluntary for families, and utilize intensive, evidence-based models and strategies. Local control encourages culturally considerate, community-centered programming, while four evidence-based home visiting models assure improved outcomes.
Where is FFHV currently offered?
FFHV serves more than 1,000 families statewide with intensive, evidence-based home visiting services.
Wisconsin Family Foundations Home Visiting currently funded programs include:
- Adams County Health and Human Services Nurse Family Partnership Program (NFP)
- Renewal Unlimited (PAT)
- Brown County Healthy Families, Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin (HFA)
- Family & Childcare Resources of Northeast Wisconsin (PAT)
- Howe Community Resource Center (PAT)
- Kenosha County Division of Health Nurse Family Partnership Program (NFP)
- Kenosha County Division of Health Partners Program (PAT)
Lincoln, Forest, Oneida, Vilas, and Langlade Counties
- Empowering Families of Milwaukee, City of Milwaukee Health Department (HFA)
- Healthy Families Milwaukee: Aurora Family Services, Pathfinders, and the Parenting Network (HFA)
- Next Door (EHS)
Bad River Tribe
Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe
Sokaogon Chippewa Tribe
St. Croix Tribe
St. Croix Tribal Center (HFA): Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council
Links to project-related websites
Home Visiting Professional Development websites:
- University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership Home Visiting
- Home Visiting Professional Development Opportunities Training Calendar
- Annual Home Visiting Conference: Fulfilling the Promise
- Resource Toolkit for Early Childhood Professionals
- Resources for Family Members
- Wisconsin Home Visiting Facebook™ Page
- Early Childhood Professional Development Core Competencies (includes home visitors)
Articles and links to learn more about home visiting
- Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPYUSA)
- Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Partnering with Parents to Help Children Succeed
- Pew Center on the States Issue Brief: The Case for Home Visiting
- Trauma-Informed Care
- Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health
- Wisconsin Maternal and Child Health Early Childhood Systems
- Wisconsin Statewide Medical Home Initiative
- Zero to Three Home Visiting: Support Parents and Child Development
Recommended Health Topics and Resources for Early Childhood and Perinatal Home Visitors
- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) offers breastfeeding information and links to breastfeeding promotion and education resources.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides breastfeeding information for families, communities, and health providers, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions, approaches to promotion and support, and recommendations for safe handling of human milk, and links to programs such as the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
- The Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care offers breastfeeding information.
- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services offers information on Wisconsin’s Newborn Screening program and the Wisconsin Sound Beginnings newborn hearing screening program.
- The Wisconsin Early Childhood Collaborating Partners provides information about the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards.
- The CDC offers this child development-focused website with information on developmental milestones, and links to materials, training, and early intervention contacts: Learn the Signs, Act Early
- Prevent Blindness Wisconsin offers fact sheets about screening for and protecting children’s vision.
- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services Women, Infants, and Children Program site provides an online training course on anthropometrics: weighing, measuring, and interpreting measurement results.
- Wisconsin Statewide Medical Home Initiative provides information on partnering with a child’s health care provider.
- Bright Futures Guidelines is designed to provide a common framework for well child care from birth to age 21. Explore the Bright Futures materials and tools. If you are asked for a username/password, click cancel, and you should still be routed to the page.
- The Well-Visit Planner is a free, online tool designed to customize well-child visits to each families’ needs by helping them to identify and prioritize their child's health risks and concerns before their well-child appointment. The Planner is also available in Spanish.
- Handbooks for the Medicaid Targeted Case Management and Child Care Coordination benefits can be accessed here.
- Head Start Go Smart offers physical activity suggestions and resources, arranged by age of the child, beginning at birth.
- Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin (CHAW), implements programs and initiatives, and offers resources on many health topics, including injury prevention and child death review, oral health, asthma, early literacy, and Medical Home.
Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs
- Family Voices of Wisconsin promotes family-centered care for all children and youth with special health care needs and/or disabilities. Family Voices provides tools for families to make informed decisions, advocates for improved public and private policies, forges partnerships with families and professionals, and serves as a health care resource.
- Since early treatment can improve outcomes for children diagnosed with autism, Autism Speaks stresses the importance of learning early signs of autism. The site offers a helpful Video Glossary that is acceptable after a brief registration: https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/learn-signs
- Advocacy and Benefits Counseling for Health (ABC for Health) is a Wisconsin-based, nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to ensuring health care access for children and families, particularly those with special needs or who are at risk. ABC for Health can help families navigate the complexities of health financing.
- Covering Kids Wisconsin offers consumer health insurance information outreach, promotes health insurance literacy, trains community agencies and organizations to connect Wisconsin residents to Medicaid, BadgerCare, and Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage, and assists schools to register eligible children for free meals.
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Health Insurance Marketplace offer From Coverage to Care: A Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You. The Roadmap helps people with new health insurance coverage understand their benefits and connect to primary care and the preventive services that are right for them, so they can live a long and healthy life. More written and video resources about accessing care be found on the Health Insurance Marketplace website.
- The Wisconsin Partnership Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health houses the Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families (LIHF). LIHF addresses racial disparities in infant mortality. This community and academic collaboration is designed to improve local conditions that lead to healthier birth outcomes among African American families in Beloit, Kenosha, Milwaukee and Racine.
- The DHS Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR) offers a public link so that parents may access their children’s immunizations records. Through the WIR, health professionals may also access materials (in several languages), as well as trainings to support their immunization programs and data collection efforts. The WIR can also be accessed in English, Spanish, or Hmong.
- Through these Centers for Disease Control and Prevention links, you can download Easy-To-Read Immunization Schedules for Infants and Children, and for Teens in both English and Spanish. There is also a chart for Adults. On the same page, there is a link to a downloadable tracking chart. Families can write in their children’s measurements: Immunizations and Developmental Milestones for Your Child from Birth Through 6 Years Old
- The Immunization Action Coalition offers vaccine information for families, coalitions, and health professionals.
Infant and Early Childhood Safety and Injury Prevention
- Children’s Safety Network offers information on a wide variety of child injury prevention topics, with links to further resources.
- Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin provides Safe Sleep information in English and Spanish.
- Safe Kids Wisconsin has information on child injury prevention programs and events, including statewide car seat check dates and links to resources such as the Safe Sleep Cribs for Kids.
- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services offers information regarding childhood lead poisoning and lead-free housing.
- On this Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website, you can learn about lead, learn how to protect your family, and find resources to work with children and families. The EPA also offers lead (plomo) information in Spanish.
Maternal Child Health (MCH) Resources
- The Maternal Child Health (MCH) Title V Program promotes health and well-being of the nation’s mothers, infants, children, and youth, including children and youth with special health care needs, and their families through aligning funding for Wisconsin MCH public health with specific national and state priorities to target and “move the needle” for MCH health and well-being.
- The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) is a national resource, partner, and advocate for everyone who is working to improve the health of women, children, youth and families, including those with special health care needs. AMCHP offers a variety of information including a data base of MCH best practices and updates on MCH policy.
- The Oral Health Program at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services offers links to resources such as Something to Smile About and the Oral Health Screening Guide, as well as information on programs such as fluoride varnishing, donated dental services, and access to free or reduced-fee dental clinics.
- Wisconsin dentist Dr. Kevin DeGroot presents Perinatal Oral Health: What Pregnant Women Need to Know, offered by the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation.
Pregnancy and Postpartum Health
- Perinatal Mental Health Training Modules are available online through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
- Prenatal Care Coordination is a Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus benefit that helps pregnant women get the support and services they need to have a healthy baby. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services offers a PNCC webcast training for new providers, however, the PNCC Handbook should be accessed only in online format to assure the most current benefit information.
- March of Dimes has information for families, communities, and professionals on a variety of topics designed to promote healthy pregnancies and babies, including prenatal care, and preterm labor and premature birth.
- Text4baby is a free health education text message service (with most cell carriers) for pregnant women and mothers of babies under one year of age. Anyone can sign up!
- The Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care offers information for parents, consumers, and health professionals.
- The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Health and Human Development has information on a wide variety of health topics, including factors that put pregnancy at risk.
- Up-to-date, consumer-friendly reproductive health information for families can be found at Besider.org
- This guide to Assessment and Intervention in the Home: Women and Infants Affected by Opioids is offered by the Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care.
- My Baby and Me is a program through the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation that is designed to help women with their alcohol use during pregnancy.
- Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line: 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669), TTY: 877-777-6534
- Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation has information for expecting and new mothers and health professionals on First Breath and smoking cessation.
- You Quit, Two Quit gives facts about quitting and tips for panning to quit for families, as well as guidance for counseling women who smoke.
- The Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care offers resources promoting women’s health before and between pregnancies:
- English and Spanish consumer guides to women’s well-visits can be downloaded here.
Health Apps and Media Resources for Home Visitors
Bright Futures: American Academy of Pediatrics
This app allows providers to track their patients’ well visit needs. The app offers quick access to up-to-date information for pediatric preventive care, including the recommended well-child visit schedule, immunization schedules, a BMI calculator, and a selection of information sheets on family support, child development, health and mental health, and injury prevention.
CDC Vaccine Schedules: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This app offers quick access to ACIP-recommended immunization schedules, complete with footnotes, especially intended for healthcare professionals recommending and administering vaccines to infants, children, adolescents, and adults.
Head Start Resources: Office of Head Start
This app offers resources and materials to support Head Start programs. Discover techniques and strategies to prepare children for school and support family well-being. The app is geared towards the performance standards and policies, but there are also professional development videos available.
There is also a separate Teaching Strategies GOLD app for Head Start programs that use the GOLD curriculum: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/teaching-strategies-gold-documentation/id571518837?mt=8
Make Safe Happen: Nationwide Children’s Hospitals and Safe Kids
This app is designed to help keep children from being injured at home. The app aims to address the #1 cause of childhood deaths—preventable accidents. The app features include room-by-room advice by child age, safety checklists, and seasonal safety reminders.
Pediatric Growth Charts: Boston Children's Hospital
This app features allows parents and providers to track children’s' growth over time and display the data points on any of the included WHO and CDC growth charts, including height, weight, head circumference and BMI. The app will determine the corresponding percentiles. Comments suggest that parents can upload their children’s photos into their profiles.
Text4baby: Voxiva and Zero to Three
This app offers pregnant women or new moms up-to-date health information in English and Spanish
- An app with timely text messages tailored to gestational/infant age, health and safety information about how the baby is growing each week, progress and medical updates, and fun quizzes
- Text-based appointment reminders
- Web-based health and safety information and videos
Families and Media
The booklet (link below) is recommended by Chip Donahue, PhD, Dean of Distance Learning and Continuing Education & TEC Center Director, and Senior Fellow & Advisor, Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media. Chip was a speaker at the collaborative Media Mentoring training offered in Eau Claire this fall.
The booklet conveys good sense and infant mental health principles related to family use of media.
On page 14 of the booklet, Joan offers suggestions for where/how to access family-friendly apps.
Wisconsin has five Regional Centers for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs that can help families get answers, find services, and connect with community resources. Their services are free and private.