Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America) formerly known as the National Committee To
Prevent Child Abuse sponsors the Healthy Families America home visiting initiative in 320 sites
across the nation. Indiana has affiliated with Healthy Families America to adopt program
standards and replicate the model statewide. The Healthy Families is a voluntary home visitation
program designed to promote healthy families and healthy children through a variety of services
including child development, access to health care and parent education. The program serves families identified
as at-risk, with children 0-5 years. Program goals include prevention of
negative birth outcomes (low birth weight, substance abuse, criminal activity, child abuse and
neglect); increased parenting skills; healthy pregnancy practices; and the use of social systems.
Assessments are conducted either prenatally or at the time of birth. Home visiting can begin
either prenatally or within 90 days after birth. The Family Support Worker (FSW) visits at least
once a week for up to one year. The FSW helps establish support systems, teaches problem-
solving skills, enhances positive parent-child interaction, offers information, education and
referrals to community resources. Once a family is in the program, they can receive services for
up to 5 years.
In 1992, Healthy Families America moved forward with the home visiting model based on a
comprehensive evaluation, using an experimental design that was conducted with 372 families in
the Hawaii Healthy Start program. The results indicate that early and intensive home visitation by
para-professionals produces measurable benefits for participants in the areas of parental attitudes
toward children, parent-child interaction patterns and type and quantity of child maltreatment.
Mothers who received home visits significantly reduced their potential for physical child abuse
and showed significant positive changes in maternal involvement and sensitivity to child cues.
Treatment families exhibited more positive parent-child interaction patterns at both six and twelve
month assessment points.
The Healthy Families Indiana program requires two trainers certified by NCPCA /Healthy
Families America to provide Core Training which follows a structured format for supervisors,
assessment workers, and family support workers. The training is standardized and copyrighted.
Costs include 40 hours of Core Training for workers, training/curriculum manuals, travel and lodging.
A minimum of four days training is necessary to start a program and affiliate with Healthy
Families America. Each Core Training class has a maximum of 15 participants per trainer. The
training cost per trainer is a $2000 fee as well as travel costs (hotel, airfare, per diem, and time).
The trainer provides follow-up telephone consultation and technical assistance to ensure a clear
understanding of the program. Costs for materials are negotiated as needs of the class are