Durham Family Initiative

The Durham Family Initiative is a 12-year collaboration with The Duke Endowment to improve family well-being and reduce child maltreatment in Durham County. Since its inception in 2002, the official community-wide rate of child maltreatment has decreased by 50 percent, with much lower rates of declines in five matched comparison counties. The endeavor began by providing community-based efforts to help families support their children’s health, growth and development in stressed neighborhoods. It ended with Durham Connects, a universal newborn nurse home visiting program for Durham County residents which was shown improve parenting and health care utilization. After a successful pilot, evaluation and randomized control trial, Durham Connects was fully transitioned into the Durham community through the Center for Child and Family Health. It has become a popular program with families for providing support for children and families and to help public and private service organizations integrate their services so they can most effectively promote child well-being and prevent child abuse among Durham’s children and families.