Child Trends, the nation’s leading research organization focused on improving children’s lives, has selected five states to participate in the State-level Home Visiting Integration with Early Childhood Data Systems (SHINE) initiative. Early childhood home visiting programs provide parents of children from birth to age five with supports and resources aimed at improving children’s development and well-being. Through SHINE, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Utah will be able to improve their ability to link home visiting data to better understand which children are being served and the impact of those services on child outcomes. SHINE will also develop a series of resources to support all states in linking their home visiting data.
“Right now, most states cannot connect their home visiting data with other data on children’s well-being and outcomes,” said Dale Epstein, the senior research scientist at Child Trends who is leading the SHINE initiative. “To make program and policy decisions that will deliver positive results for children and families, including understanding children’s experiences prior to entering school, it is critical for states to build their data linking capacity.”
Linking home visiting data into state early childhood integrated data systems can help states:
- make sure services are reaching all families in need;
- assess the impact of home visiting services by compiling data about the services children receive over time and children’s outcomes; and
- increase coordination of services across programs and at the state level.
“Documenting the capacity of early interventions to alter the developmental trajectory of children in meaningful ways requires strong, integrated data systems that captures performance across all initiatives aimed at children from birth to age five,” said Deborah Daro, senior research fellow at Chapin Hall and a leader in home visiting research and policy.
Child Trends selected these five states to participate in SHINE based on the clarity of the state’s related goals and objectives; the capacity of its teams to advance project goals; and their potential to strengthen data linkages to inform future policy-making. With support from the Heising-Simons Foundation, states participating in SHINE will receive financial and technical support to accomplish goals related to linking home visiting data, as well as access to a peer-learning network. SHINE is collaborating with the Early Childhood Data Collaborative, whose mission is to promote the use of early childhood data to inform early childhood policies and practices.