Welcome Baby, a Los Angeles County-based home-visiting program sponsored by First 5 LA, provides an opportunity for new parents to learn about early child development and obtain assistance on issues such as basic health care, insurance coverage, nutrition, breastfeeding, family violence, maternal depression, or improving home safety. The program is free, voluntary, and provides hospital and home-based interventions for pregnant and postpartum women. The Welcome Baby program is delivered in 14 Los Angeles County hospitals and includes up to nine engagement points, beginning either prenatally or at the birth of the child through the first nine months. Ideally, Welcome Baby visits are conducted one-on-one and in the woman’s home.
First 5 LA contracted with AIR, and its partners at Georgetown University and Juárez & Associates, to conduct the Welcome Baby Impact Study, a longitudinal randomized controlled trial of the Welcome Baby program. The study utilizes an “unbalanced design,” in which the community comparison group is smaller than the treatment group. This evaluation, as part of the larger Welcome Baby Evaluation Portfolio, will contribute to the body of research related to the effectiveness of the Welcome Baby home-visiting model. The primary goals of the evaluation are to (1) demonstrate the impact of Welcome Baby on maternal, child, and family outcomes; and (2) determine whether the impact of the Welcome Baby program varies across maternal risk levels.