news & perspectives

news & perspectives

tufts research proves benefits of healthy families


We are excited to announce that Tufts University has released results from a rigorous evaluation of Healthy Families Massachusetts that shows the program is significantly benefiting the young parents and children it serves – and setting parents and families up to succeed.

Highlights of the evaluation confirm that Healthy Families Massachusetts is significantly:

  • Lowering parents’ risky behaviors, which likely reduces children’s exposure to traumatic events
  • Reducing participants’ parenting stress, a risk factor for child abuse and neglect
  • Increasing educational achievement for young mothers, paving the way toward self-sufficiency.

More details about the extensive findings of the evaluation are located here.

Started in 2007, the “Massachusetts Healthy Families Evaluation – Phase 2” is a longitudinal randomized control trial evaluation by Tufts University of Healthy Families Massachusetts.

The study compared first-time mothers, the overwhelming majority aged 19 or younger, who were divided in two groups. One group received home visiting services while the other received only referrals and information.

Participants were recruited from 18 Healthy Families Massachusetts programs located across the state, including a mix of communities with diverse populations. 

Healthy Families Massachusetts is an intensive, evidence-based family support and parent coaching program overseen by the Children’s Trust.

The program matches young parents with trained professionals who provide information and guidance starting during pregnancy and continuing through the child’s third birthday. The program is designed to help parents learn the skills they need to succeed in their new role and create safe, stimulating environments for their children.