University of Illinois Urbana‑Champaign

Home Visiting, IDHS Programs

About the data

Latest data: FY2021

Home visiting provides family support and coaching through planned, regular visits with a trained professional based on a family’s needs and schedules. Home visiting is a voluntary program, and home visitors work with parents on practical parenting skills as well as family bonding before birth and as children grow up. Home visiting programs are operated by local service providers including community-based organizations, health departments, and school districts in communities across the state.

The following home visiting programs are administered by IDHS-DEC*:

  • Healthy Families Illinois (HFI)
    • The purpose of HFI is to strengthen family functioning and reduce risks for child abuse and/or neglect.
    • HFI programs use the evidence-based Healthy Families America (HFA) model (see below).

  • Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV)
    • The federal MIECHV program supports pregnant people and parents with young children who live in communities that face greater risks and barriers to achieving positive maternal and child health outcomes. Families choose to participate in home visiting programs, and partner with health, social service, and child development professionals to set and achieve goals that improve their health and well-being.
    • The program aims to
      • Improve maternal and child health;
      • Prevent child abuse and neglect;
      • Reduce crime and domestic violence;
      • Increase family education level and earning potential;
      • Promote children’s development and readiness to participate in school; and
      • Connect families to needed community resources and supports.
    • Illinois MIECHV programs use evidence-based home visiting models HFA and Parents as Teachers (see below).

  • Parents Too Soon (PTS)
    • PTS provides support services to new and expectant teenage parents with income less than or equal to 200% of the federal poverty level, through home visitation, parent support groups, and community education to assist them to develop effective parenting skills, improve the parent-child relationship, promote healthy growth and development for the child, and reduce the likelihood of child maltreatment.
    • PTS programs are overseen by Start Early (formerly known as the Ounce of Prevention Fund).
    • PTS programs use evidence-based home visiting models including HFA, NFP, and PAT (see below).

IDHS-DEC funds home visiting programs that use one of the following evidence-based home visiting models:

  • Healthy Families America (HFA) is a voluntary home visiting program founded on the ideals of excellence, trust, and transformation. The program was designed to promote positive parenting, enhance child health and development, and prevent child abuse and neglect.
  • Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) empowers first-time moms to transform their lives and create better futures for themselves and their babies. Nurse-Family Partnership works by having specially educated nurses regularly visit young, first-time moms-to-be, starting early in the pregnancy and continuing through the child’s second birthday.
  • Parents as Teachers (PAT) is a comprehensive home-visiting, parent education model that provides services to families with children from prenatal through kindergarten. PAT goals are to: increase parent knowledge of early childhood development and improve parent practices; provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues; prevent child abuse and neglect; and increase children’s school readiness and success.

*The information on this page reflects State Fiscal Year 2022: programmatic alignment of the HFI and MIECHV programs into one IDHS-DEC Home Visiting Program will take place effective July 1, 2022.

Data available on IECAM

Number of children served

The total number of children served by IDHS home-visiting programs.

Source of data: IDHS Bureau of Childhood Development and Start Early

These data are available by state and county.

  • Searchable data on the IECAM database are reported for the IDHS/HFI programs and the Parents Too Soon programs administered by Start Early that encompass all three evidence-based home-visiting models (HFI, NFP, and PAT). Data are reported by county, separated by numbers in two groups of children: 0, 1, and 2 years of age and 3, 4, and 5 years of age.
  • The data on number of children served are reported for the location of the service, not the residence of the child. For example, if a child lives in McHenry County but receives Parents Too Soon services from Kane County, this service is counted for Kane County.
  • IDHS reports data on PTS programs in fact sheets for some years. This data represents the number of adult participants in the program, not the number of children served.

Note on MIECHV data: 

Data on IECAM are for the number of newly enrolled children. This is the number of children newly enrolled during the year, not the total number of children.

Data availability: State, county, IDHS Region, ISBE Region

Source of definition: U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau