Toward Population Impact from Home Visiting.

Abstract

Although some home-visiting programs have proven effective with the families they serve, no program has yet demonstrated an impact at the population level. We describe the Durham Connects (DC) initiative, which aims to achieve population impact by coalescing community agencies to serve early-intervention goals through a Preventive System Of Care and by delivering a universal, short-term, postnatal nurse home-visiting program. The home-visitor delivers brief intervention, assesses family needs in 12 domains, and connects the family with community resources to address individualized family needs. Evaluation of DC occurred through a population randomized controlled trial of all 4,777 births in Durham, NC, over an 18-month period. DC was implemented with high penetration and high fidelity. Impact evaluation indicated that by age 6 months, DC infants had 18 percent fewer emergency room visits and 80 percent fewer overnights in the hospital than did control families. We conclude that population impact is achievable if a program attends to challenges of community partnership, universal reach and assessment, rigorous evaluation, and models for sustaining funding.

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Scholars@Duke

Dodge

Kenneth A. Dodge

Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy

Kenneth A. Dodge is the William McDougall Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. He is also the founding and past director of the Center for Child and Family Policy, as well as the founder of Family Connects International

Dodge is a leading scholar in the development and prevention of aggressive and violent behaviors. His work provides a model for understanding how some young children grow up to engage in aggression and violence and provides a framework for intervening early to prevent the costly consequences of violence for children and their communities.

Dodge joined the faculty of the Sanford School of Public Policy in September 1998. He is trained as a clinical and developmental psychologist, having earned his B.A. in psychology at Northwestern University in 1975 and his Ph.D. in psychology at Duke University in 1978. Prior to joining Duke, Dodge served on the faculty at Indiana University, the University of Colorado, and Vanderbilt University.

Dodge's research has resulted in the Family Connects Program, an evidence-based, population health approach to supporting families of newborn infants. Piloted in Durham, NC, and formerly known as Durham Connects, the program attempts to reach all families giving birth in a community to assess family needs, intervene where needed, and connect families to tailored community resources. Randomized trials indicate the program's success in improving family connections to the community, reducing maternal depression and anxiety, and preventing child abuse. The model is currently expanding to many communities across the U.S.

Dodge has published more than 500 scientific articles which have been cited more than 120,000 times.

Elected into the National Academy of Medicine in 2015, Dodge has received many honors and awards, including the following:

  • President (Elected), Society for Research in Child Development
  • Fellow, Society for Prevention Research
  • Distinguished Scientist, Child Mind Institute
  • Research Scientist Award from the National Institutes of Health
  • Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution from the American Psychological Association
  • J.P. Scott Award for Lifetime Contribution to Aggression Research from the International Society for Research on Aggression
  • Science to Practice Award from the Society for Prevention Research
  • Inaugural recipient of the “Public Service Matters” Award from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration
  • Inaugural recipient of the Presidential Citation Award for Excellence in Research from the Society for Research on Adolescence
Goodman

Ben Goodman

Research Scientist

Ben Goodman is a research scientist at the Center for Child and Family Policy. His research interests focus broadly on the implementation and evaluation of population-based interventions to reduce child maltreatment and improve parent and child health and well-being, including the evidence-based Family Connects postpartum nurse home visiting program. His research also examines how sources of stress and support shape the quality of parent-child relationships, parents’ own well- being, and child development.

Research Interests:
  • Home Visiting
  • Child Maltreatment
  • Parenting
  • Program Evaluation
Education:
  • Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State University - 2009
Murphy

Robert A. Murphy

Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Murphy is a licensed clinical psychologist focused on child traumatic stress, including its treatment and prevention and development and dissemination of evidence-based interventions. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Murphy serves as Executive Director for the Center for Child & Family Health (CCFH), a community and three university partnership (Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina Central University) dedicated to research, training, and intervention related to child trauma and maltreatment. Interests include treatment and prevention of child maltreatment and traumatic stress, dissemination of evidence based interventions, and improving mental health care for military families. In partnership with the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy Center for Child and Family Policy, he has been active in the development and evaluation, via two randomized controlled trials, of a brief, postnatal, universal nurse home visiting program (Family Connects) that has demonstrated improved parenting and parental distress, as well as reduced emergency medical care costs and lower rates of reported child maltreatment. Since 2003, CCFH has been a community treatment and services center within the National Child Traumatic Stress Network focused on improving access to evidence based mental health care for foster care youth and developing trauma informed child welfare systems.


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