Implementation of evidence-based home visiting programs aimed at reducing child maltreatment: A meta-analytic review
In recent years there has been an increase in the popularity of home visitation programs as a means of addressing risk factors for child maltreatment. The evidence supporting the effectiveness of these programs from several meta-analyses, however, is mixed. One potential explanation for this inconsistency explored in the current study involves the manner in which these programs were implemented. In the current study we reviewed 156 studies associated with 9 different home visitation program models targeted to caregivers of children between the ages of 0 and 5. Meta-analytic techniques were used to determine the impact of 18 implementation factors (e.g., staff selection, training, supervision, fidelity monitoring, etc.) and four study characteristics (publication type, target population, study design, comparison group) in predicting program outcomes. Results from analyses revealed that several implementation factors, including training, supervision, and fidelity monitoring, had a significant effect on program outcomes, particularly child maltreatment outcomes. Study characteristics, including the program's target population and the comparison group employed, also had a significant effect on program outcomes. Implications of the study's results for those interested in implementing home visitation programs are discussed. A careful consideration and monitoring of program implementation is advised as a means of achieving optimal study results.