Date of Award


Degree Name

Family and Consumer Sciences


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Mary Jo Graham

Second Advisor

Linda Spatig

Third Advisor

Janet Dozier


This thesis explores factors that influence the mother-home visitor relationship within the home visiting program, specifically, the Healthy Families America Program. The thesis was done as part of an evaluation of the local HFA program and used qualitative evaluation methods. Participants in the study consisted of five families chosen randomly from families who had been in the program at least one year, three Family Support Workers, and two supervisors. Data was gathered from participant observation of home visits and taped semi-structured interviews with participants. Qualities found to be helpful to the relationship were responsiveness, respect, and sharing personal experiences. Qualities detrimental to the relationship were unrealistic expectations, the presence of domestic violence in the home, discussing sensitive topics, and Child Protective Services involvement. Two distinct relationship styles and two different foci of relationships were observed. Other relationships within the home visiting program were also observed to be of importance, those between Family Support Workers, between family support workers and supervisors, and between supervisors and families. These other relationships should be studied further. Contributions of this study include a unique perspective gained fromparticipant observation and a picture of the inner workings of the program that can only be gained by the qualitative methods used.


Healthy Families America Program.

Home-based family services.