Understanding the Needs of ParentChild+ Staff and Families Participating in Virtual Home Visiting

Research BriefEarly ChildhoodDec 16 2022

ParentChild+ is an early childhood home visiting program that partners with historically marginalized people and underserved communities. The program’s home visiting method focuses on supporting parent engagement and interactions with their children through information and tools to promote children’s healthy development and school readiness. The ParentChild+ National Center (“the National Center”) partners with school districts, social service agencies, housing authorities, immigrant aid, and faith-based and other community-based organizations.


Already struggling under the huge weight of systemic racism, the communities that ParentChild+ works with have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The trusting relationships between Early Learning Specialists and families, and the program’s strong connections to community resources, enabled program staff to swiftly adapt their delivery to respond to families’ changing needs during the crisis. With an understanding that virtual home visiting will remain in place even post-pandemic, the ParentChild+ research team partnered with Child Trends to investigate the implementation of virtual visits and to explore a hybrid model for future practice.

This research was conducted in collaboration with the ParentChild+ National Center with funding from Tipping Point Community.

The study team focused on the following research questions to develop interview, focus group, and survey protocols for the study:

  1. What changes were adopted for virtual home visiting compared to the in-person model?
  2. How are staff and families experiencing virtual visits?
  3. What is working and not working (barriers and advantages)?
  4. What are the resources and supports needed for virtual visits?
  5. What are the determining factors in choosing between virtual visits and in-person visits?

The goal of this brief is to describe how three ParentChild+ sites in California made the transition to virtual home visits and how they adapted their virtual service delivery model in response to families’ needs, and to offer considerations for establishing a hybrid model in the future.

Suggested citation

Bultinck, E., Falletta, K., Stoeppelwerth, P., Crowne, S., & Hegseth, D. (2022). Understanding the needs of ParentChild+ staff and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Child Trends. https://doi.org/10.56417/3442g5692k