Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

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Zertifikat "audit berufundfamilie"

Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

What works in prenatal home visiting programmes: Experimental evidence from England and Germany

Project Number


Head of Project

Project Staff

  • Conti, Gabriella (University College London, Department of Economics)
  • Robling, Michael (Cardiff University)

Project Start

January 2019

End of Project

December 2020


Early experiences can have an enduring impact upon a child’s long-term health and well-being. Children born in more vulnerable families risk failing to reach their developmental potential, in part because they are exposed to unstable, unsafe and non-stimulating environments.
In most European countries, core support is provided to all families through universal health and social services. Reaching families who may benefit from additional help is a priority for both national and local governments. Such additional support is usually delivered through home visiting programmes. However, little is known about why and how such programmes work (or not). This project will investigate the channels through which two flagship home-visiting programmes for disadvantaged first-time teenage mothers in England and Germany have improved child development in the first two years of life. We will examine whether and to which extent they have worked by promoting the quantity and quality of interactions between parents and children, by making parents more receptive to external advice, or by making children more receptive to parental influences. We will also investigate whether family nurses with certain characteristics (e.g. more experienced, engaging in longer visits or covering a greater proportion of the material) are more effective at improving children’s outcomes. We will lastly analyse how the effectiveness of the programme varies at different levels of services used by the control Group. This project will provide timely new evidence on the mechanisms through which home-visiting programmes starting prenatally work in different contexts, and inform the debate about their transferability.