Rural Communities Implement Strong Home Visiting Programs

Dovetailing has just completed work with partners at Thrive by Five Washington and three rural Washington counties to start strong evidence-based home visiting programs funded by the Washington Home Visiting Services Account. The project drew on community wisdom to assess local interest, and "fit" of the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) or Parents as Teachers (PAT) home visiting models with community needs. Each community determined that the PAT program was a fit for their current needs.

Dovetailing and Thrive by Five's "implementation hub team" facilitated community processes to identify ways to overcome challenges rural communities often face, such as low population density and community infrastructure.  The approach supported community consideration of important implementation questions, and helped each community to endorse a strong lead agency that could get the new programs off to a strong start. In one county the new program reached full enrollment in just two and a half months!

The process confirmed some long-held lessons about how funders and system designers can support local action and implementation of human service programs. It also revealed some new and innovtative ways to support community preparedness and strength in doing so. Those Lessons Learned are already being put into action by Thrive by Five Washington as they revise grantmaking processes.

Read the full project report, Supporting the Growth of Home Visiting in Washington State, which details the processes used and includes tools developed to help other communities that seek to "front-load" important deliberations and decisions as grant opportunities arise and continue to strengthen programs over time. Go Adams, Grays Harbor and Okanogan counties!