Family Connects

Evidence-Based Universal Home Visiting Model

CCFP’s long history of strong community-research partnerships, development of research-based strategies to promote positive outcomes for children and families, top-notch researchers, and strong research infrastructure have supported Family Connects from its conception to its development into a proven evidence-based supporting families in communities across the US.

Family Connects, an evidence-based nurse home visiting program for newborns and their families, is one example of the success of CCFP’s work to develop research-based strategies for reducing inequities and promoting positive outcomes for all children. The Family Connects model connects parents of newborns to the community resources they need through postpartum nurse home visits. One of the most unique aspects of Family Connects is that it is designed to be universal, meaning it is available to all families in a community. Through this universal approach, Family Connects aims to improve health and well-being at the population level. Learn more about Family Connects here.

In addition to developing the Family Connects model, CCFP researchers have conducted extensive evaluations of Family Connects through the Prospective Study of Infant Development, a randomized control trial with funding from the National Institute of Health.

Program History

Family Connects, originally launched as Durham Connects, was developed by CCFP researchers, to prevent child abuse in Durham County by helping families with newborns deal with stressors such as substance abuse, depression, financial distress, lack of childcare, and social isolation—all of which create increased risk for child abuse. Durham Connects launched in 2008 with cooperation with the Durham County Health Department and financial support from The Duke Endowment.

Durham Connects grew out of earlier CCFP work, the Durham Family Initiative, a long-running project at CCFP that was first funded in 2002 by The Duke Endowment as a joint project with the nonprofit Center for Child and Family Health. At that time, Durham County had a higher rate of child maltreatment than the rest of the state, which itself was higher than the national average. The Durham Family Initiative implemented a county-wide System of Care, in which local social service providers in Durham County came together to create a coordinated and networked approach to offering their services and resources to families at-risk for child maltreatment. The goal in launching Durham Connects was to build on the success of the Durham Family Initiative but do so at a universal scale, reaching all families to prevent maltreatment.

Related Projects and Research Findings

Other Family Connects Research

Current and Previous Funders of Family Connects Research

  • The Duke Endowment
  • Eunice Kennedy Shiver National Institute Child Health and Human Development
  • North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

  • The Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • The Pew Charitable Trust
  •  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation