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NJ Family Connects - Universal Home Visiting


In July 2021, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law P.L.2021, c.187 to create a statewide, universal home visiting (UHV) program for newborns in the State of New Jersey.1 The program has been branded in New Jersey as Family Connects NJ. New Jersey is the second state in the country to legislate a statewide program through which families with a newborn can have a specially trained nurse visit their home in the first few weeks after the child’s birth. The services are free, voluntary, and meant for families of all backgrounds and incomes. It will also be available to resource families, adoptive families and parents experiencing the tragedy of a stillbirth. During home visits, nurses will check the physical and emotional health of the parents and baby, provide information helpful to families, and offer referrals to community resources. This approach is an “evidence-based model”, meaning research has shown that it is effective in helping families.

This has not rolled out to the entire state. It will gradually be expanded throughout the state. For more information, please use the link below.



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So important! Congrats.
This brilliant and proven program needs to be everywhere.

Many advanced nations have home visitors as a matter of course in support of new parents and caregivers, and as an investment in their newest citizens.

The U.S. needs to do the same. Everywhere. Visiting nurse programs were proven in the 1990s  as a protection in decreasing the incidence of justice involvement, child abuse, so much more.

Prenatal and Early Childhood Nurse Home Visitation
David Olds, Ph.D., Peggy Hill, and Elissa Rumsey
To prevent youth crime and delin- quency, it is important to understand how antisocial behavior develops and design programs to interrupt that developmental pathway. The most serious and chronic offenders often show signs of antisocial behavior as early as the preschool years (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Three important risk factors associated with early development of antisocial be- havior can be modified: adverse maternal health-related behaviors during preg- nancy associated with children’s neuro- psychological deficits, child abuse and neglect, and troubled maternal lifecourse.
The Prenatal and Early Childhood Nurse Home Visitation Program, devel- oped by David Olds and his colleagues (Olds, Kitzman et al., 1997; Olds, 1988; Olds and Korfmacher, 1997), is designed to help low-income, first-time parents start their lives with their children on a sound course and prevent the health and parenting problems that can contribute to the early development of antisocial be- havior. Several rigorous studies indicate
The original research on this program was supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Robert Wood Johnson, the W.T. Grant, the Ford, and the Commonwealth Foundations. The most recent research has been supported by HHS and the National Institutes of Health. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is currently funding a demonstration and evaluation of the project in six sites.
that the nurse home visitation program reduces the risks for early antisocial be- havior and prevents problems associated with youth crime and delinquency such as child abuse, maternal substance abuse, and maternal criminal involvement.
Recent evidence shows that nurse home visitation even reduces juvenile offending (Olds, Henderson et al., 1998). Beginning in the mid-1970’s, a series of randomized clinical trials was designed to develop and test the program model (Olds, Kitzman et al., 1997; Olds,… )

Please copy paste link above to read the entire report published in a Department of Justice publication in November, 1998.

As so many say, we know what to do. Why the heck don’t we do it?

This program alone could save so much pain, sorrow, abuse; could help foster secure attachment.
We know secure attachment is vItaly important; helps people enjoy healthier, happier relationships as adults.

And yet we sit in the midst of a mental health CRISIS, with known preventives, and don’t have this as a federal mandate?

Let’s trade myopia for action and send this story to leaders of our respective states in hopes of seeing more states follow the lead of NJ!

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