Leveraging the Potential of Home Visiting Programs to Serve Immigrant and Dual Language Learner Families

Maki Park and Caitlin Katsiaficas
Date of Publication: 
August, 2019
Source Organization: 
Migration Policy Institute

Early childhood interventions, such as home-visit programs, can make significant differences in the welfare of young Dual Language Learners (DLLs). “Leveraging the Potential of Home Visiting Programs to Serve Immigrant and Dual Language Learner Families” explores the reasons why young DLLs often show poorer educational outcomes than their peers and presents strategies for using home visits as a way to ensure that these children have access to effective social supports. More than one in four children in the United States live in dual-language households, most of which are also immigrant families. These children are statistically more likely to have experienced poverty and trauma, and their parents often have low levels of education. This policy brief from the Migration Policy Institute underscores the fact that the federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program can help families access social programming and information about care and education during critical periods of childhood development. The authors note that, while the program is effective, staff members need additional training to overcome language barriers and cultural differences and to understand the principles of trauma-informed care.  Other strategies might include: hiring more bilingual staff, focusing on immigrant communities in MIECHV needs assessments, improving program data collection, and strengthening partnerships with community-based organizations. The brief suggests that, with implementation of these reforms, the MIECHV program will be an important tool in improving outcomes for DLL children and families. (Clare Maxwell for the Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

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Park, M., & Katsiaficas, C. (2019). Leveraging the potential of home visiting programs to serve immigrant and dual Language learner families (MPI Policy Brief). Retrieved from https://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/home-visiting-immigrant-dual-language-learner-families