HARC has consistently served an important role in translating emerging practice and policy issues into learning opportunities. It has done this by clarifying how policy and community issues impact front line practice, promoting and implementing studies to unpack these topics, investigating promising solutions to address key challenges, and disseminating new learning to the field. Over the next five years, HARC will use three main methods to continue the identification and exploration of emerging concerns.
First, we plan to regularly conduct surveys and outreach to key stakeholders and HARC members to solicit their perceptions of emerging issues. Second, we plan to partner with academics, national home visiting models, and state MIECHV, territory and tribal leads to expand research opportunities to dive deeper into emerging practice issues and policy opportunities, and to offer actionable ideas to improve program implementation and family outcomes. Finally, we plan to synthesize new research ideas and funding opportunities and disseminate these out to HARC members through a variety of communication methods including briefs, webinars, podcasts and special topic meetings.
To date we have conducted six focus groups to discuss emerging concerns with several of our key partners. Groups included members of the HV Alliance of Evidence Based Home Visiting Models; the National Home Visiting Network which includes representatives of the national models, the National Child Abuse Coalition, HARC, ASTHVI, HRSA, OPRE, and parent representative; members of the MIECHV Technical Assistance group; and HARC Federal project officers. While the specific questions raised in each group varied depending upon the group’s expertise, each session explored emerging issues in three domains: practice, policy, and operational issues. During discussions, we sought input on both home visiting program challenges AND the opportunities that exist to significantly increase the utilization of home visiting services among expectant and new parents.
In the coming months, we will continue to solicit input from the field on the relative importance of these issues. For example, we plan to survey HARC members on issues related to expanding the pool of “high impact” research while incorporating provider and participant voice.