In partnership with First 5 Humboldt and funded by the First 5 California Home Visiting Coordination Grant, the California Center for Rural Policy has just released the Humboldt County Home Visiting Program Environmental Scan. The findings and recommendations in the environmental scan are grounded in partner workgroups, interviews, and surveys that occurred in 2020-21 and capture the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on home visiting services.
"The organizations that provide home visiting and early childhood support services in Humboldt County all share a deep commitment to meet the diverse and changing needs of families in the county. The individual program profiles reveal the dynamic, varied nature of organizations that strive to continuously create, adapt, and expand programs to serve families and their young children. They all share the common goal of providing resources, support and education that help improve the overall health and well-being of Humboldt County families."
"The environmental scan identified an estimated total of 728 home visiting service slots in Humboldt County. Out of the 728 slots, 650 were with programs utilizing evidence-based models. The estimate is based on available data provided from home visiting programs during the time of interviews, but may not reflect the current capacity of each program. Although the projected 728 slots is an estimate, it suggests there is potential room for home visiting expansion within the county. In 2020, there were approximately 8,048 children under the age of 5 in the county with 23% or 1,851 living within the poverty threshold. This suggests a possible gap between available home visiting services and children that may benefit from them."
"While some programs and families found virtual communication to be a challenge, others saw it as a new opportunity for enrollment and engagement, especially for families that live in remote communities with long commute times. Virtual connections have made it easier for home visitors to fit more home visiting appointments into their schedule, and for the families it took away the pressure or fear of having someone in their home. As programs start to resume their normal home visiting services, many are considering a hybrid model to allow traditional in-person visits, but also to continue with virtual connections for those interested or in need of that form of service connection."
(full .pdf is found below)