State of Arizona Office of the Auditor General



Healthy Families Program (February 2001, Report No. 01-02)


The goals of Healthy Families—Arizona include preventing child abuse, promoting child wellness and proper development, strengthening family relations, and reducing drug and alcohol dependency.  To accomplish these goals, Healthy Families’ “home visitors” regularly provide education about child development, health, and safety and refer families to needed resources.  To measure program effectiveness in preventing child abuse, we compared the proportion of program participants and comparison group members with Child Protective Services reports.  We found no difference in abuse rates for the two groups with approximately 2 percent of each receiving an unsubstantiated CPS report.  These results are similar to those found in the February 2000 report.  The evaluation includes several potential interpretations of this finding. Consistent with past reports, we also found that the program was successful in a number of areas related to health, development, home safety, and family relations.  For instance, most program children were fully immunized and received periodic developmental screenings.  Families also improved the safety of their homes and reported reduced parenting stress in several areas, including parental competence, social isolation, attachment, and depression.

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