Family Visiting Information for Healthcare Providers

Your referral will help a family grow

Family Visiting services (formerly home visiting services) offered by the Rhode Island Department of Health are available to all expecting parents and those with children under age three. The goal is to enroll families in Family Visiting as early in pregnancy as possible—because the earlier we connect with them, the more support and services they can receive.

If you know a family who might benefit from family visiting—or even if you’re not sure—refer! Call our Resource and Referral Specialist at 401-222-4609. Our staff will take it from there, and help families choose the program that’s right for them.

What We Do

Provide culturally-competent, family-centered support that helps families succeed.

Family Visitors offer:

  • assistance that can make a difference in a child’s health, development, and ability to learn
  • help for parents who are trying to cope with raising a family
  • health education and guidance on preventive health practices
  • maternal depression, domestic violence, and developmental screenings
  • connections to medical homes and other healthcare services

Family Visitors are highly trained nurses, social workers, community health workers, and other professionals (different programs offer different expertise). All Family Visitors receive extensive training to help them connect with families in culturally sensitive ways, and to help families successfully identify and achieve their wants, needs, and goals. Many Family Visitors speak more than one language.

Provide evidence-based services that improve family and child health outcomes

The families we help:

  • have lower rates of preterm birth, child maltreatment, substance use, unintentional injuries, and emergency room usage
  • have higher rates of breastfeeding, maternal depression screening, prenatal and well-baby care, infant immunization, school readiness and achievement, and economic self-sufficiency

A variety of evidence-based programs are available to address each family’s needs and wants:

A family may enroll in a short-term or long-term program (until their children reach age three). Family Visitors meet each family in the home or wherever the family feels most comfortable (e.g., a community center, library, WIC office, etc.).

What You Should Do

Understand the benefits of Family Visiting

Family Visiting programs are evidence-based and have demonstrated improvements in a wide range of maternal and child health outcomes. Family Visitors can also refer families for many different community services and supports.

Talk about Family Visiting with your patients and clients

The way in which you present the idea of family visiting is crucial to a family’s interest in participating. Talk about family visiting as something your patient or client might find helpful; not as something she “should” do.

Refer patients and clients to Family Visiting

Call our Resource and Referral Specialist at 401-222-4609. Explain to the parent that your referral will set the process in motion, and that a family visitor will contact them to schedule a first meeting. Ask for the parent’s preferred method for follow-up contact.

We will follow up with you to let you know if your client enrolls in a program.

Order free referral and outreach materials for your office

Materials are available through our online ordering system.