Home Visitation Programs
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, home visitation programs offer a mechanism for ensuring that at-risk families have social support, linkage with public and private community services, and ongoing health, developmental, and safety education. When these services are part of a system of high-quality well-child care linked or integrated with the pediatric medical home, they have the potential to mitigate health and developmental outcome disparities. Read more from The American Academy of Pediatrics.
Home Visitation programs are in a unique position to positively impact and support preventive oral health for young children and their families. They have direct access to families and can observe oral health related behaviors that occur within the home. By establishing a trusted relationship, Home Visitors can reinforce medical and dental preventive messages, play a positive role in supporting behavioral change and assist in connecting families to a dental home.
The Connecting Smiles initiative has developed an Oral Health training for home visitation staff and has a tool kit that supports the integration of oral health behavioral assessment tools and supportive resources for parents and families. The Connecting Smiles Tool Kit for Home Visitors is designed to equip staff with the resources, tools and information they would need to effectively address preventive oral health within the home. The materials in the kit are targeted for use with parents and caregivers of children ages 0-3.
Children’s Trust is the South Carolina lead agency for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. They lead the state’s efforts in coordinating the delivery of voluntary home visiting services. Children’s Trust supports 6 program models, and they are working to build a quality system throughout the state to have a continuum of programs available to serve at-risk families and children at various stages of need.