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CDC Strongly Recommends Home Visits
to Prevent Child Abuse

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that early childhood home visits as provided by Healthy Families New York programs prevent abuse and neglect.

The CDC's review of studies of early childhood home visitation programs suggests that approximately 40% of abuse and neglect might be prevented and that the longer the programs are offered to families, the larger the effects of prevention.

The review, conducted by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services and coordinated with the CDC, found that these programs are highly effective at reducing child maltreatment, especially among high-risk families. All programs reviewed by the CDC were directed at families considered to be at high risk of child maltreatment including low birth weight infants, single or young mothers, and low-income households.

Healthy Families New York (HFNY) is New York's home visitation program that features weekly visits by trained professional to expectant and new parents for as long as five years.

Statistics regarding HFNY include:

  • 96% are up-to-date on immunizations compared to 80% from a Department of Health comparison group

  • 75% had received the recommended number of well-baby visits by 15 months of age compared to 46% from NYS Medicaid Managed Care Plans.

In a 1998, HFNY participant survey conducted by the Rockefeller College:

  • 87% reported their home visiting program improved their problem solving skills

  • 85% responded their patience with their child had improved and they were better at dealing with their child's difficult behavior because of the program

  • 84% said the home visiting program had improved their ability to access needed services.
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