NC Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting Program: Healthy Families America and Nurse-Family Partnership

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) gives pregnant women and families, particularly those considered at-risk, necessary resources and skills to raise children who are physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to learn. By electing to participate in local home visiting programs, families receive help from health, social service, and child development professionals. Through regular, planned home visits, parents learn how to improve their family’s health and provide better opportunities for their children. Two of the home visiting programs supported by MIECHV in North Carolina include Healthy Families America (HFA) and Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP). Both models are evidence- based, which is a requirement to receive MIECHV funding.

Goals for the programs are to:

  • Improve maternal and child health
  • Prevent child abuse and neglect
  • Encourage positive parenting
  • Promote child development and school readiness

Fast Facts

Relevant Actions
State or Local? Local
CountiesBertie, Bladen, Buncombe, Burke, Columbus, Durham, Edgecombe, Gaston, Halifax, Hertford, Mitchell, Nash, Northampton, Robeson, Scotland, Yancey
Lead Agency NC DHHS, Division of Child and Family Well-Being
Type of Agency

State/Local Government Agency

Racial Equity Lens
  • The HFA National Office recently established the Racial Equity and Cultural Humility Committee (REaCH). This is a new advisory committee whose purpose is to strengthen and further develop the national HFA network in the area of equity, diversity, inclusion, and cultural humility in order to better serve all children and families through the HFA model.
  • All NFP sites are educated on race, ethnicity and equality. They are trained to treat all the same and not different based on race. However, they understand there are certain inequities based on race. They address those as needed. Race is not a factor in enrollment. They are all treated equal at enrollment. 
  • Both NFP and HFA provide outcome data disaggregated by race to identify where health inequities may exist. This also gives the programs the ability to identify goals and strategies to improve the health equity of that population.
Community Voice
  • Both models make every effort to ensure their Community Advisory Board is representative of their community and service population, including family representatives.

MIECHV FY 2021 Performance Highlights Include:

  • Depression Screening: 96.0% of caregivers enrolled in home visiting were screened for depression within 3 months of enrollment or within 3 months of delivery. Research shows that postpartum depression can be associated with a number of adverse outcomes for both the mother and infant, such as poor parent-child bonding, negative parenting approaches, and increased risk of developmental, health, and safety concerns for the child.
  • Well-Child Visits: NC MIECHV has consistently increased well-child visits since 2018. Despite COVID, there has been a 5.8% increase in well-child visits (83.4%). Routine well-child check-ups prevent illness (through timely vaccinations), promote early identification of concerns, and ensure that children remain healthy.

Note that home visitors are helpful in providing education, screenings, and referrals for families to address mental health and well-being; however, there are often few and/or limited options for services in LIAs’ geographical areas, resulting in the discrepancy between who has received a referral and who is able to further receive services.

Next Steps
  • Ongoing professional development for home visiting staff
  • Continued support of the NC Annual Home Visiting Summit
Primary Partners
  • Local sites that administer programs including three local health departments, three non-profit agencies, and one community college.
Primary Funders

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA)

Contact Greer Cook

Active Counties