Recurrence of maltreatment after newborn home visiting: A randomized controlled trial

Am J Public Health

Objectives: To investigate whether a newborn home visiting program for primiparous adolescent mothers (aged 16-20 years at childbirth) reduced recurrence of child maltreatment in child protective services (CPS) reports.

Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial of Healthy Families Massachusetts, a statewide home visiting program for young parents. A total of 704 first-time young mothers were randomly assigned to a home visiting group, or to a control group who we referred to other services and who received child development and parenting information. The outcome variable was CPS reports (2008-2016) available for 688 families-specifically, rereports following an initial report (up to mean child age of 7 years).

Results: Of the 52% of families who experienced initial CPS reports, 53% experienced additional CPS reports. Children of mothers in the home visiting group were less likely to receive a second report and had a longer period of time between initial and second reports.

Conclusions: The home visiting program reduced the recurrence of CPS maltreatment report by 32% and increased the length of time between initial and additional CPS reports. Home visiting parenting support and prevention programs may reduce the likelihood of recurrent maltreatment following completion of program services.

Easterbrooks MA, Kotake C, Fauth R. Recurrence of maltreatment after newborn home visiting: A randomized controlled trial. Am J Public Health. 2019;109(5):729-735. PMID: 30896990. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.304957.

Publication Year: 
Resource Type: 
Peer Reviewed Research
Study Design: 
Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)
Social Determinant of Health: 
Children and Youth
Social Needs/ SDH
Screening Research: