The Family Level Assessment and State of Home Visiting (FLASH-V) outreach and recruitment study is one of the first national studies to ask home visiting programs about their perspectives on recruiting families for services.
The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program has successfully expanded early childhood home visiting services, serving more than 72,000 families in 2020. MIECHV-funded programs reach approximately 15 percent of the more than 465,000 families who are likely eligible and could benefit from MIECHV services. Limited slots mean that only some of these potential beneficiaries can be served. That makes it critical for local programs to maintain caseload capacity.
FLASH-V used qualitative and quantitative methods to examine how MIECHV-funded programs recruit families and to understand their challenges and accomplishments related to capacity. The questions covered two points in time: before and after the COVID-19 pandemic began. The study aimed to identify promising practices and strategies for further research and to inform future technical assistance, continuous quality improvement, and evaluation.
The findings suggest promising opportunities for programs to expand recruitment, including—
- Building relationships with prospective participants and referral partners
- Maximizing referral sources families trust
- Streamlining the recruitment phase
- Using data to guide outreach
- Using strategies that have been successful for other programs
Future research could explore parent perceptions to identify factors that might influence them to enroll. The field may also consider how to achieve progress toward health equity through recruitment, outreach, and enrollment methods.