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Health strategies to strengthen families

Health strategies can increase access to and utilization of care, improve physical and mental health, and reduce household stress and uncertainty.

Children raised in healthy, stable homes are more likely to experience positive economic mobility outcomes at every life stage.

How do health issues impact family well-being?

Consistent access to healthcare creates better health outcomes for individuals and families. 1

Uninsured individuals experience worse health outcomes, have a lower quality of life, and higher mortality rates than individuals with insurance.

Uninsured individuals are less likely to have a primary care provider and less likely to receive preventive care, dental care, chronic disease management, and behavioral health counseling.

Expecting mothers in good health are more likely to have children born at healthy birthweights. 2

Babies born underweight are more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions, exhibit disruptive behaviors, and less likely to graduate from high school.

Healthy adults experience more stability in their employment. 3 4

Poor health is both a contributor to and a result of employment instability. Employment instability can lead to material hardship, which can have negative impacts on parent-parent and parent-child relationships.

Healthy families are less stressed and able to devote more time and resources to their children. 5

Health issues constrain time, energy, and resources for individuals and families, increasing family stress and reducing the material resources and emotional capacity that parents can provide their children.

Categories of successful interventions

  • Community health programs: Medical services or health-related programs based in underserved neighborhoods
  • Health systems navigation assistance: Programs that provide one-on-one guidance to individuals as they navigate social or health services.
  • Substance use prevention programs: Programs that seek to reduce alcohol and drug use

Evidence-based interventions

Intervention Type Category Evidence Level
AVANCE Parent-Child Education Program (PCEP) Program
  • Parent training and support
Proven (highest tier)
Breastfeeding promotion programs Strategy
  • Parent training and support
Proven (highest tier)
Centering Pregnancy Program
  • Parent training and support
Proven (highest tier)
Child-Parent Centers Program
  • Parent training and support
  • Preschool
Strong (second-highest tier)
Clinic-based programs for pregnant and parenting teens Strategy
  • Parent training and support
Proven (highest tier)
Criando con Amor: Promoviendo Armonía y Superación (CAPAS) Program
  • Parent training and support
Proven (highest tier)
Culturally adapted health care Strategy
  • Health systems navigation assistance
Proven (highest tier)
Family Foundations Program
  • Parent training and support
Proven (highest tier)
Federally-qualified health centers Strategy
  • Community health programs
Proven (highest tier)
Financial incentives for preventative care Strategy
  • Health-related financial incentives
Proven (highest tier)
Health insurance enrollment outreach and support Strategy
  • Health systems navigation assistance
Strong (second-highest tier)
Health literacy interventions Strategy
  • Community health programs
  • Health systems navigation assistance
Strong (second-highest tier)
Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters Program
  • Home visiting programs
  • Parent training and support
Proven (highest tier)
Individually-adapted physical activity programs Strategy
  • Community health programs
Proven (highest tier)
Medical homes Strategy
  • Direct health interventions
  • Health systems navigation assistance
Proven (highest tier)
Medical-legal partnerships Strategy
  • Health systems navigation assistance
Strong (second-highest tier)
Nurse-Family Partnership Program
  • Home visiting programs
Proven (highest tier)
ParentCorps Program
  • Evidence-based childhood curricula
  • Parent training and support
  • Teacher training and professional development
Strong (second-highest tier)
Patient navigators Strategy
  • Health systems navigation assistance
Proven (highest tier)
Preschool With Family Support Services Strategy
  • Parent training and support
  • Preschool
Proven (highest tier)
Professionally trained medical interpreters Strategy
  • Health systems navigation assistance
Proven (highest tier)
SafeCare Program
  • Home visiting programs
  • Parent training and support
Strong (second-highest tier)
Smart Start North Carolina Program
  • High-quality childcare
  • Parent training and support
Strong (second-highest tier)
Text message-based health interventions Strategy
  • Health systems navigation assistance
Proven (highest tier)
Triple P: Positive Parenting Program Program
  • Parent training and support
Proven (highest tier)
Footnotes
  1. County Health Rankings and Roadmaps clinical care overview
    https://www.countyhealthrankings.org/explore-health-rankings/measures-data-sources/county-health-rankings-model/health-factors/clinical-care/access-to-care
  2. Robertson and O'Brien, "Health Endowment at Birth and Variation in Intergenerational Economic Mobility: Evidence From US County Birth Cohorts," Demography 2018
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5952604/
  3. Antonisse and Garfield, "The Relationship Between Work and Health: Findings from a Literature Review," Kaiser Family Foundation 2018
    https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/the-relationship-between-work-and-health-findings-from-a-literature-review/
  4. Olesen, Butterworth, Leach, Kelaher, and Pirkis, "Mental health affects future employment as job loss affects mental health: Findings from a longitudinal population study
    https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-244X-13-144
  5. Sandstrom and Huerta, "The Negative Effects of Instability on Child Development: A Research Synthesis," Urban Institute 2013
    https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/32706/412899-The-Negative-Effects-of-Instability-on-Child-Development-A-Research-Synthesis.PDF