Relationship-Based Home Visiting Services for Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders: A Qualitative Study

Author Department

Pediatrics; Healthcare Quality; Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Home visiting programs face many challenges when providing evidence-based services to families affected by substance use disorders (SUDs). We conducted interviews and focus groups with community stakeholders and parents to elucidate important considerations when intentionally attempting to meet the needs of families affected by SUDs through home visiting programs. We identified one primary theme "Who is the client?" that describes how to ensure caregivers perceive themselves as an important focus of the program. Collectively, participants revealed that understanding caregivers' emotional experiences was critical for effectively transforming their subjective experiences of the program. These emotional experiences were related to the quality of their relationships with their children, other family members, and service providers. Three sub-themes illustrate specific examples: 1) responding to the unique emotional needs of mothers in recovery, 2) considering emotional states to inform inclusion in programs, and 3) addressing complex family dynamics related to SUDs in the home. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Keywords: Home visiting; Parenting support and education; Qualitative methods; Substance use disorders; Workforce development.