Title

Statewide Implementation of Virtual Perinatal Home Visiting During COVID-19

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2020

Keywords

COVID-19 pandemic, MIECHV, Virtual home visiting

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-020-02982-8

Abstract

Purpose: This evaluation describes efforts taken by MIECHV administrators and staff during the pandemic using data collected from 60 MIECHV staff surveys and nine statewide weekly focus groups.

Description: The Florida Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Initiative funds perinatal home visiting for pregnant women and families with infants throughout the state. Florida MIECHV has shown resilience to disasters and times of crises in the past, while generating a culture of adaptation and continuous quality improvement among local implementing agencies. Florida MIECHV responded to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis within the first few days of the first reported case in Florida by providing guidance on virtual home visits and working remotely.

Assessment: Findings highlight the role of administrative leadership and communication, staff willingness/morale, logistical considerations, and the needs of enrolled families who face hardships during the pandemic such as job loss, limited supplies, food insecurity, technology limitations, and stress. Home visitors support enrolled families by connecting them with resources, providing public health education and delivering evidence-based home visiting curricula virtually. They also recognized the emotional burden surrounding COVID-19 impacts and uncertainties along with achieving work-life balance by caring for their own children.

Conclusion: This evaluation helped in understanding the impact of the pandemic on this maternal and child health program and fundamentals of transition to virtual home visiting services. Virtual home visiting appears to be feasible and provides an essential connection to supports for families who may not otherwise have the means or knowledge to access them.

Comments

Article available for free at PubMed Central: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7371777/

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Maternal and Child Health Journal, v. 24, issue 10, p. 1224-1230

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