Home visitation to at-risk families is an important strategy for improving early-childhood outcomes. On the heels of numerous trials demonstrating many positive and sustained outcomes for mothers and children, the Affordable Care Act in 2010 allocated $1.5 billion to this initiative and recently, the White House proposed an appropriation of $15 billion over 10 years to strengthen and expand programs across the United States. This substantial public investment in home visiting is a tremendous achievement for researchers who have focused on early childhood as a crucial time period to pursue strategies that alter lifetime trajectories of at-risk children. As these programs rapidly disseminate across the country, researchers must address issues and challenges that may arise and strengthen programs as needed. To this point, child abuse prevention strikes a cautionary note.
Rubin DM, Curtis ML, Matone M. Child Abuse Prevention and Child Home VisitationMaking Sure We Get It Right. JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(1):5-6. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.3865