Engaging Home Visitation Families with iPad Technology: Translating Research Into Practice

The NRC-FCP conducted research on the ability of iPad technology to increase family engagement during home visitation. Results were used to develop a webinar for home visiting professionals. A national audience of 133 home visitors attended the webinar to learn about best practices in tablet technology use to increase family engagement.

Increasingly, professionals in health and human services are being asked to do real-time data collection during their face-to-face contacts with families.  One method of data collection during home visitation is through use of iPad technology.  The National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice, with funding from the Iowa Department of Public Health and Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, conducted research on the utility of iPad technology to collect data for home visitation programs as well as to increase family engagement during home visitation.  This research culminated in a report entitled Tablet Technology and Family Engagement: In Home Visitation and the Use of iPads with REDcap.  The full report is available upon request by contacting Brad Richardson at brad-richardson@uiowa.edu.

There are many ways that iPad technology can be integrated into the home visit to increase family engagement.  iPads can be used by the home visitor to:

  • Collect data & assessments
  • Teach about pregnancy, birth, child development & parenting
  • Deliver educational materials to children
  • Provide relaxation & distraction for families
  • Demonstrate behavioral health & self care
  • Access web resources for families

For many, introduction of a computer screen into these interactions is challenging.   The NRC utilized research findings to develop a webinar for home visiting professionals which focused on use of iPad technology to facilitate family engagement.  The webinar educated home visitors on family engagement practices, tips for engaging families, useful iPad apps, and new findings from current research. 133 home visitors throughout the country were trained on best practices in tablet technology engagement.

The webinar is archived and can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJKbB8NNohk

If you have any questions about iPad use in home visitation, contact:     

Brad Richardson, PhD., Research Director

Email: brad-richardson@uiowa.edu

Iowa City Phone: 319-335-4924

Des Moines Phone: 515-235-4661

If you have any questions about the webinar or training opportunities, contact:

Lisa D’Aunno, J.D., Training Director

Email: lisa-daunno@uiowa.edu

Phone:  319-335-4932