Smiling mom playing with baby

Minding the Baby® (MTB) grew out of an interdisciplinary collaboration among clinicians and researchers from the Yale Child Study Center, Yale School of Nursing, and Fair Haven Community Health Center in 2002. The MTB model developers had all been working to improve the circumstances of at-risk families living in the community of New Haven, Connecticut for a number of years.

Despite the range of home visiting approaches available in the early 21st century, there was a need to develop a new program that attempted to bring together diverse approaches in a single, theoretically driven, unified model. In particular, it was important to integrate nursing and mental health approaches with home visiting, so as to address in a coherent, holistic way the multiple and complex attachment, health, and mental health needs of at-risk families.

In September 2014, the MTB model was identified by Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE) review as an “evidence-based early childhood home visiting service delivery model.” The criteria for this designation were established by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). MTB is one of 19 home visiting models nationwide with this designation, making it eligible for implementation via state funds through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, established through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The clinical model is described in detail in the MTB Treatment Manual, which is provided to implementing agencies along with a Replication Operations Manual. Intensive training in the model is also required as part of MTB implementation.