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Through home-based services, families with new babies gain access to home visitors — a nurse, a doula, or a trained community member — who can be a resource for the family throughout the first years of a child’s life. During this time, home visitors meet families at home or another safe space and offer a stable and trusted source of support. Home visitors develop relationships with multiple members of the family. They help families navigate the changes that come with a new baby and provide services that help the family nurture their child’s development and maintain housing and other stability.

Home visiting is not one-size-fits-all. To ensure programs meet the needs of King County’s communities, Best Starts for Kids balances funding across different types of models. Evidence-based and evidence-informed home visiting models have undergone formal scientific evaluations. Community designed models are supported by direct community experience and are culturally responsive to the communities where they’re practiced.

Photo credit: United Way of King County. 

Learn more about Home-Based Services and see results:

How are we doing?


The Home-Based Services strategy made its first investments in home visiting programs that have some form of evidence supporting the intervention. To qualify for this opportunity, programs needed to meet one of the evidence level criteria below:

  • Evidence-Based Programs use a standardized, well-defined model that has been proven effective through rigorous research design when implemented with fidelity.
  • Evidence-Informed Programs use a documented model that has been shown to produce positive outcomes in at least one comparison study.

Best Starts has invested over $2.5 million in 11 programs. Of these, five were Parents as Teachers, two Community-Based Doula, two Child-Parent Psychotherapy, one CHERISH, and one Early Head Start Home-Based. Best Starts supported the start-up of two new programs, one Community-Based Doula and one Parents as Teachers.These dollars will provide intensive supports to over 300 families across King County.


How are we doing?

The Parent-Child Home Program supports parents of two and three year olds through educational play that helps caregivers develop their children’s cognitive and social-emotional skills. Through modeling behaviors, culturally matched home visitors support parents in learning how to stimulate their child’s ongoing learning in their own home. Through a partnership with United Way and the City of Seattle, Parent–Child Home Program, expanded its reach dramatically. In 2018, the program made more than 52,000 visits to 1,272 children. Forty-four percent of children served identified as black/African-American, and 29 percent identified as Latinx.


How are we doing?

Community-designed home-based services expanded the availability of home-based services that draw upon local community knowledge and practice to develop approaches that are designed for and valued by specific communities, and/or addressing populations not well-served by other programs.

In 2018, this investment fell under the category "Laying the Groundwork." Stay tuned for data!


Read more about Home-Based Services on the Best Starts Blog:

Starting in March 2020, households across our region and across the country will have the opportunity to participate in the 2020 Census. Your participation matters. Learn how you can promote a fair and accurate census at kingcounty.gov/census.

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