Home visitation services for parents whose life circumstances places them at risk for child abuse/neglect became standardized across the military services in 2005 as a result of DoD Instruction 6400.5, "New Parent Support Program." This policy defines the New Parent Support Program as a secondary prevention program that falls under the auspices of the Family Advocacy Program.
- Program goals - The primary goals of the New Parent Support Program are to:
- Promote resilience and healthy parenting skills in participating families
- Promote the involvement of both parents (when appropriate) in home visitation services
- Decrease the potential for any negative effects on parenting related to deployment and other military operations by providing proactive outreach, positive education and assistance to family support groups
- Promote quality, cost-effective partnerships among the military services and between the military services and federal, state and local agencies and private sector organizations to promote a full range of services to families living on and off the installation
- Home visitation model - The New Parent Support Program uses an intensive, voluntary home visitation model developed specifically for vulnerable parents to strengthen the protective factors and reduce the risk factors associated with child abuse and neglect of newborn and young children. Services include screening for risk and protective factors, parent education and support targeted to the developmental needs of the infant or young child, promoting nurturing and attachment to build the foundation for the social emotional development of children, strengthening formal and informal social support, referrals to concrete services and resources during times of need and building coping skills and strategies to support family resilience.
- Staff qualifications -New Parent Support Program staff members are highly skilled in offering home visitation and most often are registered nurses or social workers. All staff must complete a criminal background check. New Parent Support Program staff members are supervised by the installation Family Advocacy Program manager. Additionally, the program is supervised according to the policies and guidelines of the contracted agency when professional contract home visitors are used.
Services are offered to expectant parents and parents who have children three years old or younger (five years old or younger for the Marine Corps). Participation is voluntary and available to families who live both on and off the installation.
The New Parent Support Program is available at installations supporting family members worldwide.