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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. 
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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.

Oregon Administrative Rules (OARS)


Administrative rules in chapter 333, division 6 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. 

Link to rules 333-006-000 through 333-006-160

Link to rule 333-006-0170

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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 time, 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 time 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 

Implementation of Family Connects Oregon will roll out over the next several years using a phase-in approach, beginning with the eight communities listed below.

  • Clatsop County Department of Public Health
  • Eastern Oregon Early Learning Hub
    consortium covering two counties—Baker and Malheur—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
  • 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
  • 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

Webinar: Family Connects Update: November 2019

Stakeholder Webinar April 9, 2020
Stakeholder Webinar September 10, 2020
Home Visiting Clinical Guidelines: Updated 2021

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