Home visiting can play a key role in the early childhood system of services. For home visiting to achieve its potential, decision-makers must make informed choices regarding adoption, adaptation, coordination, scale-up, and sustainment. We need a coordinated, focused, and theory-based home visiting research infrastructure to inform such decisions.
The transdisciplinary Home Visiting Research Network (HVRN) was established in July 2012 with funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration. Its goal is to promote the translation of research findings into policy and practice. Its objectives are to (1) develop a national home visiting research agenda, (2) advance the use of innovative research methods; and (3) provide a research environment that is supportive of the professional development of emerging researchers interested in home visiting. A Management Team designs and directs activities to achieve these objectives through Work Teams. A Steering Committee of national leaders representing stakeholder groups oversees progress. HVRN’s Coordinating Center supports the Work Teams and HVRN’s Home visiting Applied Research Collaborative, a practice-based research network of home visiting programs. This article describes HVRN’s rationale, approach, and anticipated products. We use home visiting–primary care coordination as an illustration, noting potential roles for pediatric practices and pediatric researchers and research educators in HVRN activities.
HVRN creates the infrastructure for a rigorous program of research to inform policy and practice on home visiting as part of the system of services to improve family functioning, parenting, and child outcomes.