Chicago Home Visiting Partnership

PFL is delighted to be partnering with the Center for the Economics of Human Development at the University of Chicago (CEHD), and Casa Central – a social service organization in Chicago, to bring the PFL Home Visiting model to Chicago.

Project Aims:

  • Family support of the highest quality – driven by curriculum developed by Preparing for Life and implemented by Casa Central
  • Community centered program design – community stakeholders and families have the opportunity to give input on the creation and adaptation of the program making it ultra-relevant to clients served
  • Rigorous, longitudinal, respectful and person-focused research – an RCT designed and led by the world-class researchers with input from partner researchers, PFL, Casa and our community stakeholders

Main Research Questions:

  • How do warm, loving, supportive interactions contribute to child development and long-term outcomes?
  • What are some of the best practices to encourage these interactions?
  • What does rigorous research reveal are the mechanisms that motivate outcomes for children and caregivers?
  • How can field research about early childhood and parenting programs be implemented in innovative ways?

Preliminary Design

Phase 1:
First, two home visitors will be hired and trained at Casa Central. Then, a pilot cohort will be recruited and retained early 2023 to test and adapt the approach and activities prior to full implementation. The families in the pilot group will continue through all years and will be a resource for the project team to refine data collection methods, monitor and continuously improve implementation processes. The pilot families will not be included in the study sample.

Phase 2:
The second phase of implementation will be designed as a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) to capture the causal effect of a high quality, evidenced-based early childhood home-based intervention for both parents and children’s outcome. For this phase, 200 families from two underserved neighborhoods of the Chicago area will be randomly assigned to a High and Low treatment groups (following the approach from the PFL model).


Inspired by the research protocol of the PFL implementation, there will be multiple data collection methods and instruments. The understanding is that these instruments will measure a comprehensive set of indicators in several dimensions that will allow the researchers to track the progress on outcome and impact variables throughout multiple data collection rounds.
Data collection to include:

  • Child development assessment
  • Family strengths and wellbeing assessments (including physical health)
  • Family surveys
  • Home Visitor and supervisor surveys
  • Video Recorded visits


The Chicago Home Visiting Partnership Project has the potential to have important influence on the fields of early childhood policy, home visiting and parent coaching practices, and research. An advanced understanding of PFL’s unique approach to home visiting may prove useful to home visiting practice and for others conducting evaluations of similar programs in the future. This project will also make an important contribution to policy development in the area of early childhood intervention programs generally, and home visiting programs specifically.

More Information

To find out more about this innovative and exciting project please contact:

Niall Sexton, Programme Manager

Tel: (087) 700-3492


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