Report | October 21, 2016

Home Visiting: A Critical Crime Prevention Strategy

High-quality home-visiting and parent coaching programs have been proven to reduce child abuse and neglect

This report discusses a solution that’s proven to make a difference: an evidence-based service called voluntary home visiting. Through home-visiting programs, state lawmakers have an outstanding opportunity to reducing child abuse and neglect, not to mention overall crime.

Young children are most at-risk: Nationally, one-third of child abuse and neglect victims are under age four, and they are far more likely to be abused or neglected by a parent or guardian than any other person in their lives. Here, we break down the numbers in several states:

New York

Every year, more than 65,000 children in New York experience abuse or neglect—enough children to fill Madison Square Garden three times. These traumatic experiences have immediate repercussions for children, as well as long-term impacts on New York’s criminal justice system.


In 2015, 10,400 children in Oregon were abused or neglected. That’s enough children to completely fill Gill Coliseum at Oregon State University. The actual numbers are likely much higher due to underreporting.

However, home-visiting programs offer a solution: In a long-term randomized controlled trial conducted over nearly two decades, the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), a voluntary home visiting program, cut child abuse and neglect by 48 percent among participating families. The NFP program also reduced the number of juvenile arrests, as well as increased school readiness.

Most cases of abuse and neglect are preventable by taking a proactive approach that utilizes proven, evidence-based practices. State and federal policymakers must act decisively to support the continuum of these proven parent coaching programs.