Brief Home Visiting Career Trajectories: Snapshot of Home Visitors’ Qualifications, Job Experiences, and Career Pathways
Heather Sandstrom, Devon Genua, Cary Lou, Sarah Benatar
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Until recently, limited research has been available on home visiting staff or on the professional development system that supports them. In 2016, the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families, in collaboration with the Health Resources and Services Administration, contracted with the Urban Institute to study the home visiting workforce in MIECHV Program-funded local implementing agencies (LIAs) to gather needed information about home visitors’ backgrounds and career paths. This snapshot highlights findings on home visitors’ qualifications, job experiences, and career pathways.

Primary Research Question

  1. What is the range of education and employment histories among home visitors in MIECHV Program-funded agencies?
  2. What are average job earnings of home visitors in MIECHV Program-funded agencies?
  3. How likely are home visitors to remain in their job for the next two years?


A stable and well-trained workforce is critical for effective home visiting program implementation. To support MIECHV awardees, local programs, and home visiting model developers to recruit, train, and retain qualified staff, more information is needed on the career pathways and work experiences of home visitors and their supervisors.

This snapshot presents findings from a national descriptive study of the home visiting workforce in local agencies receiving MIECHV Program funding.

Key Findings and Highlights

Analyses of survey and case study data point to the following key findings:

Home visitors in MIECHV Program-funded agencies have strong educational backgrounds and extensive job-related experience.

Surveyed home visitors’ median salaries are approximately $36,000 annually. Supervisors earn slightly more (a median of $48,000). 

Eighty-four percent of surveyed home visitors say they are very or somewhat likely to remain in their current position for the next two years.


The project includes two major components: (1) a two-stage national survey of the home visiting workforce in local implementing agencies (LIAs) receiving funding from the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program and (2) case studies in eight states involving interviews with program leaders and supervisory staff, as well as focus groups with home visitors in 26 LIAs.

Program managers in all MIECHV Program-funded agencies were invited to participate in a 20-minute web-based survey that collected information on staffing, funding sources, staff recruitment and turnover, and program management. Program managers submitted email addresses for home visitors and home visiting supervisors in their programs, which comprised the sample for the second stage of the survey. These staff were invited to participate in a 23-minute web-based survey that collected information on educational attainment, work experience, compensation and benefits, job schedule, work environment, supervision, job satisfaction, training needs, and demographic characteristics.


Early childhood home visiting: a service delivery strategy for achieving greater child and family health and well-being. Local home visiting programs connect new and expecting parents with a designated support person—a trained nurse, social worker, parent educator, or early childhood specialist—who provides services in the home. Services generally consist of screening, case management, family support or counseling, and caregiver skills training.

Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program: administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration in partnership with the Administration for Children and Families, the MIECHV Program was established in 2010 to support voluntary, evidence-based home visiting for at-risk pregnant women and parents with children up to kindergarten entry. The program provides grants to states, US territories, and tribes, which conduct needs assessments to identify eligible at-risk communities and serve priority populations.

Research Areas Education Families Children and youth
Tags Maternal, child, and reproductive health Job training Parenting Early childhood home visiting
Policy Centers Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population Health Policy Center