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Family Spirit

Proven Results


Evaluation of the Family Spirit intervention provides layered evidence of the program’s impact on reducing intergenerational health disparities of American Indian mothers and children.

Family Spirit is the first and only evidence-based early childhood home-visiting program designed for and by American Indian communities; the first to demonstrate efficacy of paraprofessionals; and is uniquely tailored to address the behavioral health disparities that pose the greatest challenges to Native communities.

Thanks to the commitment and contribution of our partner development sites over the past 15 years, we now have strong evidence that Family Spirit positively impacts mothers’ and children’s health and well-being. We are confident and grateful to share this program with other communities across Indian Country and the world. — Allison Barlow, Family Spirit Program Director

Evidence from three randomized controlled trials has documented important results including:  increased parenting knowledge and involvement; decreased maternal depression; increased home safety; decreased emotional and behavioral problems of mothers; and decreased emotional and behavioral problems of children.

National Recognition

Family Spirit has met the highest standard of the Department of Health and Human Services’ HomVEE criteria for an evidence-based early childhood home visiting service delivery model.

Family Spirit is listed on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), a searchable online database of evidence-based mental health and substance abuse interventions. Family Spirit received a perfect rating (4.0 out of 4.0) for "Readiness for Dissemination."

In addition, Family Spirit was Approved for the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC) on October 4, 2019. Family Spirit was rated in the Home Visiting Programs for Child Well-Being topic area. The listing can be found at this link: