Why should I recommend family support programs to my patients?

Parents who have used a family support program say it helped them have healthier pregnancies, be better parents, finish high school or training, get good jobs, and help them feel hopeful about their futures.

Extensive research of evidence-based family support (also known as home visiting) has shown to improve:

  • pregnancy and maternal health,
  • child health and development,
  • home and child safety,
  • school readiness,
  • family safety,
  • family self-sufficiency; and
  • coordination and referrals to community resources and supports.

Family Support programs also help reduce:

  • smoking during pregnancy,
  • pregnancy-induced hypertension,
  • pre-term births,
  • low-birth weight deliveries,
  • pregnancies spaced less than 18 months apart,
  • child abuse; and
  • juvenile crime.

How do I find the right program for my patient?

Visit How do I find the right program for me? and type in your patient's county to find the programs in her community. Family Support programs vary by location and have their own eligibility requirements.

Eligibility requirements of the five evidence-based family support programs (also known as home visiting programs) in New York State:

  • Nurse-Family Partnership: Enrolls first-time mothers less than 28 weeks pregnant.
  • Healthy Families: Enrolls families who are pregnant or with a child less than 3 months old.
  • Early Head Start: Enrolls families who are pregnant or with a child who is an infant or up to 3 years old.
  • Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters: Enrolls parents with a child 3 to 5 years old.
  • Parents as Teachers: Enrolls families who are pregnant or with children who are infants or up to starting kindergarten.
  • SafeCare: Enrolls families with children ages birth to 5.
  • Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up program (ABC): Enrolls families with a child between the ages of 6 months and 24 months (and up to 48 months for foster care referrals).

Questions? Contact a program and they can help determine eligibility

What is Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Initiative?

New York State (NYS) works to improve the health and well-being of at-risk children and families through its Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Initiative. The MIECHV initiative uses evidence-based family support programs (programs proven to be effective) to help improve outcomes for mothers and babies. The goals of the initiative are to improve birth outcomes for high-risk pregnant women and their babies, improve children's health and development, and strengthen families.

NYS conducted a family support needs assessment that looked at a range of risk indicators and existing family support services. The needs assessment found 14 high-risk counties. Based on these findings, NYS developed the New York State Plan for a State Home Visiting Program that targeted select, at-risk communities and implemented two, evidence-based, family support models: Healthy Families New York and Nurse-Family Partnership

To find evidence-based family support programs (also known as home visiting programs) in your county, visit New York State's Family Support Programs: Support for Pregnant and Parenting Families

The MIECHV family support programs will work to improve outcomes for families in the following areas:

  1. Maternal and newborn health,
  2. Prevention of child abuse, neglect or maltreatment,
  3. School readiness and achievement,
  4. Domestic violence,
  5. Family economic self-sufficiency, and
  6. Coordination and referrals for needed community resources and supports.

The NYS MIECHV Program was developed with extensive input and collaboration from more than 100 family support stakeholders and a core group of state agency partners including:

NYS MIECHV Resources