COVID-19 has stressed families because their routines are disrupted and access to resources is constrained. In fact, the number of families unable to meet basic needs has increased by an estimated 34%. Along with this, mental health challenges have increased. Two in five parents report increased depression, substance abuse or intimate partner violence.
So right now families are under pressure and they need the services that Home Visitors provide. Home Visitors are stepping up but their job is harder than ever because of social distancing.
Home Visiting is Adapting
Social distancing has required that Home Visitors adapt to a world where in-person visits can’t happen like they used to. Since mid-March 2020, nine in ten home visits have been conducted by phone or through virtual conferencing. And even supervision of Home Visiting teams has moved online. 76% of agencies report staff supervision being conducted on Zoom or other similar platforms.
These adaptations aren’t easy, though. Technology is a connector for some families, but for others, lack of access to technology prevents these new approaches from working. Agencies report that unstable internet connections are a major challenge for families. And we know that some families lack computers and access to reliable phone service.
Hybrid Home Visiting- We’re headed toward a mix of in-person and remote practices
At Advanced Metrics, we see an emerging hybrid approach to Home Visiting. This approach uses online meeting technology like Zoom combined with web-based software technology, to maintain personal connections.
This software also facilitates data collection that can be done in the office, at home or in the field. The goal is to help home visitors to keep connected even when in-person visits are limited.
At Advanced Metrics we’re hearing these challenges from our Home Visiting customers and we’re also seeing that our Home Visiting software is enabling our customer agencies to continue home visits with little disruption. Our software technology combined with the passion and ingenuity of Home Visitors continues to keep families healthy.
Advanced Metrics is a Certified B-Corporation dedicated to improving lives by uniting community-based services with science-informed approaches. Advanced Metrics offers Home Visiting software that is informed by experts and built for Home Visitors.