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Enhancing Home Visitation Programs: Input From a Participatory Evaluation Using Photovoice

Vaughn, Lisa M. PhD; Forbes, Janet R. MS; Howell, Britteny MA

doi: 10.1097/01.IYC.0000348054.10551.66
Article

The purpose of this study was to conduct a pilot participatory evaluation of Every Child Succeeds (ECS), a well-established home visitation program in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, using Photovoice methodology. Every Child Succeeds serves first-time, at-risk mothers and their infants. Seven ECS mothers participated in the Photovoice study and held a photo exhibition for the community to display their photographs and quotes from their discussions. Qualitative analysis of themes about their perceptions and experiences was conducted.

Results: Six combined qualitative themes emerged from the mothers' photos, discussions, and the researcher transcription coding: (1) overcoming challenges; (2) being grateful; (3) emphasizing the child; (4) needing support; (5) making the best of things; and (6) what goes around comes around. The comprehensive evaluation and research components of ECS offer extensive quantitative data and information that is useful in identifying outcomes relative to the success of ECS programming. However, as the ECS program has matured, it has become evident that there are barriers to families optimally benefiting from the service as provided. The empirical literature provides little guidance about how to adapt, modify, or augment home visitation services to meet the needs of families compromised by significant clinical and social problems. Through an in-depth, qualitative, and participatory action examination of the mothers' lived experience with ECS, we can inform engagement and retention within such programs and thereby inform and enhance educational and social services programming.

Departments of Pediatrics (Dr Vaughn) and Education and Training (Mss Forbes and Howell), Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; and Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Philosophy, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights (Ms Howell).

Corresponding Author: Lisa M. Vaughn, PhD, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, MLC 2008, 3333 Burnet Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45229 (lisa.vaughn@cchmc.org).

This project was supported through funding provided by the Education and Training Department at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. The authors specially thank the ECS mothers who participated so openly in this study. The authors acknowledge the participation and support of United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Kentucky HANDS, and Ohio Help Me Grow.

©2009Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.