Imagine you are pregnant with your first child and do not know where to go for affordable prenatal care. Or you are new to the United States with several young children to care for, and none of you speak English. Or you work two jobs to stay afloat barely, and when you finally have a moment to rest, your rambunctious three-year-old won’t stop begging you to play. How meaningful would it be for a friend of yours to stop by and see how you’re doing?
Our homes are ideally the places where we can most be ourselves. It’s where we do our most intimate living, eating, bathing, sleeping, and connecting with our families and friends. It’s where children first learn about the world around them and gain foundational skills to be built upon for the rest of their lives. And yet, for too many of us, our homes are places of chaos, stress, and confusion.
Research has shown, though, that when support is provided for people directly in their homes, the trajectory of their lives—and their children’s lives—can be changed forever. How is this so?
Builds Community. While homes are meant to be the places we are most deeply seen and known, it doesn’t always happen that way. Many parents feel alone and unsupported, and many children feel misunderstood and overlooked. Receiving a visit from a teacher, professional, or peer breaks down walls of isolation and brings community directly into the home.
Creates Consistent Connection. Home visits through programs like HIPPY US provide peers for parents to connect with consistently. HIPPY US volunteers visit homes every week for thirty weeks and bring new resources to bolster at-home learning each time.
Empowers Parents and Children. Parents are a child’s first and most important teachers. Regular home visits empower and equip parents to engage confidently with their children. Parents learn songs to sing, games to play, and questions to ask that enrich their relationship with their children and enhance their social, emotional, and cognitive development.
Enhances School Readiness. The learning that happens before children ever step inside a classroom door is critical for their success in school and beyond. Home visits ensure that children are learning and growing in their earliest years.
Increases Access to Resources. Many home visit programs partner with other services in the community. Expecting mothers are connected with prenatal care. Young parents are given diapers. Caregivers learn about story times at local libraries. By visiting a family’s home, one can more readily identify what support a family needs and connect them to those resources.
Cost-Effective. Studies have shown that home visits have an ROI of $1.75 to $5.70 on every dollar spent. Seeing time, energy, and money invested in real families multiply five times over is powerful.
The numbers don’t lie: home visits are a tried-and-true method for supporting families, providing resources, and meeting our most basic needs for the community.
Contact us today to learn more about HIPPY and how our home visiting program can make a difference in your community.