“What will home visiting programs supporting maternal and infant health look like in 10 years? In 100 years?” On February 24, 2021, Dr. Kimberly Boller, The Nicholson Foundation’s Chief Strategy and Evaluation Officer, moderated a panel discussion at the Start Early's National Home Visiting Virtual Summit asking those forward-thinking questions.
Through the federally funded Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting programs implemented across the United States, home visitors—in some cases public health nurses, social workers, or early childhood educators—meet directly with families to provide information on healthy development, share playful activities parents can do at home and in the community with their children, and connect them to needed resources and supports.
In 2020, however, home visiting programs – like everything else – were turned upside-down by the COVID-19 pandemic. The upheavals of the past year provided the perfect backdrop for a discussion at the National Home Visiting summit about how these programs will look years from now, utilizing the technique of futurecasting—an innovative method often used to develop strategic plans. To answer the question about the future of home visiting programs, Dr. Boller turned to three national experts: Joe Waters, CEO and Co-Founder, Capita; Brenda Blasingame, Program Manager, Pritzker Children’s Initiative; and Lenore Scott. Assistant Division Director, Office of Early Childhood Services, New Jersey Department of Children and Families.
In advance of the session, the panelists discussed on the video below the future of home visiting and how futurecasting can help programs plan to best meet the needs of young children and families in the years ahead.