For more information about available home visitation programs or services, please contact the Home Visitation Program in the Office of Early Childhood Services:
Sunday Gustin or Deborah Johnson-Kinnard at 609-888-7400.
- What is Home Visitation?
- Who Will Come to My Home?
- Why Should I Participate in Home Visits?
- How Do I Get Home Visiting Services?
- What Types of Home Visitation Programs are Available to Me and My Family?
Home visitation programs provide helpful information and support to you as a pregnant woman, new mother or father, or other caregiver in the comfort and privacy of your own home. These visits will help you to build strong and nurturing relationships with your children to ensure that your babies and young children grow up healthy, happy and safe.Top ^
Home visitors vary by the types of programs available in communities across New Jersey. They include nurses, social workers, child development specialists and other individuals with special training and supervision (with titles such as Family Support Worker, Parent Educator and Community Health Worker). Visit frequency varies by the type of program. Typically visits begin during pregnancy and continue until your infant/child is age two or three. Visits begin weekly and then are tailored according to the information and support you and your family may need.Top ^
Pregnancy – This is an exciting time for many women. It can also be stressful because lots of questions and concerns arise during pregnancy, even if this is not your first pregnancy. Home visitors provide helpful information about having a healthy pregnancy so that you are able to make important decisions about your health during this time. They will also help to link you to prenatal care, health care, WIC, transportation, social services and other community resources that may be helpful to you and your family at this time.
Infant and Early Childhood – Visits to you and your newborn will focus on infant care, provide information and support to you as a new parent, help you balance care for your new baby with your other family responsibilities, ensure that your baby has resources for good health - WIC, health insurance, pediatric well-child care, growth and development checkups, immunizations and lead screening.Top ^
You may get a referral for home visitation in New Jersey in several ways:
- If you are pregnant, your provider may offer you a referral for home visitation assessment during your prenatal care visits.
- You may also learn about home visiting programs during pregnancy or as a new parent through the WIC Program, from community outreach workers, or from other health and social service agencies in your community.
Once the referral is received, a home visitor will schedule a visit to meet and talk with you about available services and programs that match your needs and desires. Your participation in any of these services is completely your choice.Top ^
New Jersey promotes home visitation programs that are based on three national “model” programs that require specialized training for home visitors to do this important work. All home visitation models have the same goal to promote strong and nurturing parent-child relationships so that babies and young children grow up healthy, happy, safe and ready to learn. Home visiting programs most frequently available in NJ are listed below. Model programs are marked with an asterisk (*):
*Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is specifically for first-time pregnant women or new mothers who enroll in services by the second trimester of pregnancy (28 weeks). Nurse home visitors (RNs) provide health education and family support to parents to improve the health, well-being and self-sufficiency of first-time mothers, fathers and their children, and will ensure that you have linkages to other available community services and supports, as needed. Visits start out weekly and become less frequent over time. NFP families are encouraged to participate until your child is two years old.
*Healthy Families Program (HF) provides education and supportive services to new and expectant parents. For most HF programs eligibility is anytime during pregnancy or within the first few weeks of birth, but this may vary by community, so please call for specific information in your area. Participating families receive ongoing home visits from Family Support Workers (FSWs) that continue from enrollment to age three (some HF programs continue to age five). FSWs link new or expectant parents to existing social service and health care resources, and promote positive parenting and the healthy growth and development of infants and children.
*Parents as Teachers (PAT) is an early childhood parent education, family support and school readiness program serving families throughout pregnancy until their child enters kindergarten. The program is designed to enhance child health, growth and development, and school achievement as appropriate for all participating families. PAT visits are made by certified Parent Educators. Most PAT visits take place at home, but may also include small group meetings about early childhood development and parenting. Participation continues from enrollment up to age five. PAT will ensure that you have other linkages and referrals to other needed community networks and resources.
TANF Initiative for Parents (TIP Program) is similar to Healthy Families but is only for eligible recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or General Assistance (GA). Services may begin in the third trimester of pregnancy and continue until your child is age one. TIP includes a combination of home visits and community-based services with the goal of supporting and educating parents to ensure that infants get off to a healthy start.
Local Public Health Nurses or Other Community-Based Home Visitation Programs: While funds are not yet available to offer home visitation to all pregnant women and infants in NJ, some communities in our state have other resources that may be available to assist you and your family. These may include mother-baby visits from the public health nursing unit of your local public health agency, or other maternal and child home visiting services from local health and/or social service agencies in your community.