This project involved a regional scan of home visitation programs throughout Southern California (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura). The goal was to better understand the nature of home visiting services delivered throughout the region and to determine the types of data collected by programs. Information gathered through this project was used to develop recommendations related to indicators of home visiting outcomes, the feasibility of joint evaluation efforts, and opportunities for linking home visiting records to other data sources.
The CDN administered a survey to all identified home visiting programs throughout the Southern California region. Overall, responses were received from 126 of the 183 home visitation providers identified and targeted for the survey (68% response rate). Not surprisingly, the number and nature of providers identified in each county varied widely, as did the context in which services were delivered. Every county in the region had a home visiting program that was either independently funded by First 5, jointly funded by First 5 and outside funds, or funded by an outside organization.
Almost all providers reported collecting data electronically, including client-level information that would allow for linkages to other data sources. Yet, with few exceptions, home visitation data were not being collected across programs based on uniform definitions – nor were data assembled into a single data system within the county. Further, few providers reported having had evaluations of program outcomes in the past 5 years or having data-sharing partnerships.
Based on information gathered for this project, the CDN developed 8 recommendations to advance regional capacity to collect and use home visiting data in the short and longer-term. Recommendations include establishing standardized data collection strategies, investing in web-based data collection systems, and leveraging existing administrative data to support program evaluations.