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Family Connects Oregon

Oregon's New Universally Offered Nurse Home Visiting Program

The birth of a child is a big change for any family. It impacts a family’s social, emotional, financial and physical environment. Most families welcome support as they move through this transition.

Family Connects Oregon builds on Oregon’s current home visiting programs and will offer home visiting to all families with newborns. It is a voluntary, opt-in program. No families are required to participate.

 

Rulemaking Announcement

The Oregon Health Authority Authority, Public Health Division, Maternal and Child Health Section is proposing to permanently adopt administrative rules in chapter 333, division 6 to provide administrative oversight of the Universally Offered Newborn Nurse Home Visiting Program as defined in SB 526 (Oregon Laws 2019, chapter 552), which passed during the 2019 Legislative Session. The proposed rules provide administrative guidance to the model of service delivery, the certification requirements for newborn nurse home visiting services providers and the criteria for services that must be covered by health benefit plans in accordance with SB 526.

You are being invited to review and comment on the proposed rules. If you wish to present oral testimony, a public hearing will be held by conference call on July 20, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. To present oral testimony at the hearing, please dial
1-877-848-7030, access code: 2030826#.
 

Written comments may also be submitted before 5:00 p.m. on July 21, 2020 by submitting them to the Public Health Division Rules Coordinator at the following address:

OHA, Public Health Division
Heather Owens, Administrative Rules Coordinator
800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 930
Portland, Oregon 97232

E-mail comments to: publichealth.rules@state.or.us
You may also send comments by fax to (971) 673-1299.
Final rules will be filed after consideration of all comments.

For more details, please see the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact and the full text of the proposed rules.

If you have questions or would like a paper copy of any of the documents referenced above, please contact Anna Stiefvater by email at anna.k.stiefvater@state.or.us or by phone at 503-730-0235. 

Learn More

Family Connects Oregon will offer home visiting services to all families with newborns up to 6 months of age, including foster and adoptive newborns. It is an evidence-based model that offers one to three visits from a state-licensed registered nurse. Implementation will phase-in over six years, starting with the early adopters listed below.

Family Connects Oregon is a nurse home visiting model based on the work of Family Connects International. The nurse home visitor works with families to identify what families need and want from local resources, and then provides an individualized, non-stigmatizing entry into a community system of care. This system includes referrals to other, more intensive, home visiting programs, and health and social supports around the state, such as obstetricians and primary care providers, pediatricians and family practice physicians, child care options, mental health services, housing agencies and lactation support organizations.

A safe and healthy environment during early childhood forms the foundation for a lifetime of physical and mental well-being and healthy relationships, and each family has unique strengths and constraints that need to be considered.

Evidence shows that when a home visitor can assess family needs and connect families to services that best address those needs, the health of the family improves. Current programs are not designed to reach all families which makes it difficult to make population-level change on health outcomes such as low birth weight or postpartum depression.

Key Points

  • The Family Connects model does not replace more intensive targeted home visiting programs. Nurse home visitors work with families to identify what families need and want from local resources and provide an individualized, non-stigmatizing entry into a community system of care, including referrals to other more intensive home visiting programs and social supports.
  • In collaboration with hospitals and birth attendants, a provider would engage all parents of a newborn shortly after birth, ideally face-to-face, to schedule a home visit. If families choose to accept this service, they receive one to three visits in their home to help them get off to a good start and get connected to services they need and want.
  • Participation is voluntary for families.
  • Implementation of Family Connects Oregon will roll out over six years using a phase-in approach, beginning with eight communities listed below (early adopters).
  • Family Connects Oregon will leverage federal Medicaid funding and engage commercial health plans to offer services for all Oregon families of newborns, regardless of income status.
mom and baby 
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Implementation of Family Connects Oregon will roll out over six years using a phase-in approach, beginning with the eight communities listed below.

  • Clatsop County Department of Public Health
  • Eastern Oregon Early Learning Hub
    A
    consortium covering three counties—Baker, Malheur and Wallowa—with members representing health, K-12 education, social services, early learning programs and businesses
  • The Early Learning Hub of Central Oregon
    A partnership between Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson counties’ public health departments, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Health & Human Services, and regional early care and education stakeholders
  • Four Rivers Early Learning Hub
    Including Gilliam, Hood River, Sherman, Wasco and Wheeler counties
  • Lane County Health and Human Services Department, Public Health Division
  • The Early Learning Hub of Linn, Benton & Lincoln Counties
  • Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub
    Including Marion County Public Health, Polk County Public Health, Family Building Blocks/Healthy Families, Lancaster Family Medical, and Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
  • Washington County Public Health Maternal Child & Reproductive Health
Early adopters map 
  • Participation in Family Connects Oregon is voluntary. All families would be offered this service.
  • Evidence shows about 70% of families choose to participate.
  • Evaluation of Family Connects International, an evidence-based, universal, one to three visit nurse home visiting program has shown that families have:
    • More connections to community resources at 6 months.
    • More positive parenting behaviors with their infant (such as nurturing touch and reading) at 6 months.
    • 28% less clinical anxiety reported by mothers at 6 months.
    • Higher quality home environments (such as safety, books, toys, and learning materials) at 6 months.
  • Specifically, the Family Connects evaluation has shown reduced emergency medical care (hospital overnights, emergency department and emergency doctor visits) for infants at 6 months, 12 months, and 24 months.
  • The Family Connects model estimates that for every dollar invested in the program, there is a $3.02 savings, primarily from reduced infant emergency medical care.
Home visiting benefits
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Webinar: Family Connects Update: November 2019

Stakeholder Webinar April 9, 2020

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