In June, the Metro Alliance for Healthy Families received national accreditation from Healthy Families America (HFA), a program of Prevent Child Abuse America. The highly effective HFA model of home visiting is based upon a stringent set of 12 critical elements grounded in more than 30 years of research.

The accreditation process involves an in-depth examination of the site’s operations, as well as the quality of visits made by specially trained home visitors, and adherence to HFA’s Best Practice Standards. Sites that are accredited have demonstrated a commitment to high quality home visiting services and demonstrate fidelity to the HFA model.

The Metro Alliance for Healthy Families (MAHF) is a metro area collaborative of 9 counties and 1 city that applies a regional approach to HFA targeted, intensive home visiting for first time parents experiencing significant stress. The Metro Alliance currently has 57 Home Visitors serving over 475 families. Dakota Healthy Families (DHF), the second largest member of the Metro Alliance, is currently serving 150 families and has 15 home visitors employed by three partner agencies (Dakota County Public Health, 360 Communities, and the CAP Agency).

In 2014, 360 Communities Dakota Healthy Families provided home visiting to 153 individuals, promoting safe, healthy and nurturing homes that help prepare children for kindergarten.

DHF began in the late 1990’s. Successful program outcomes and its positive impact on families lead to replicating this approach across the metro and the start-up of MAHF in 2007.