Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Australian Journal of Primary Health

PubMed ID





School of Nursing and Midwifery




Latham, N., Young, J., Wilson, J., & Gray, M. (2023). Measuring success: program fidelity of Queensland’s child health home visiting services. a document analysis. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 29(6), 575-586.


Background: The Family CA.R.E. (Community-based Assistance Resourcing and Education) program was introduced in Queensland two decades ago. It aimed to redress health inequalities for infants from families experiencing specific social stressors. The program has been locally adapted over time and has not been evaluated against the original program. This study assessed the extent to which selected hospital and health services in Queensland, Australia have modified the original Family C.A.R.E. program. Methods: Altheide's model was used to facilitate a critical document analysis of policies and guidelines for adapted Family C.A.R.E. home visiting programs in use by hospital and health services (target n = 7). Results: Five of seven eligible services provided service model documentation. There was low alignment with the original Family C.A.R.E. program across four of the five participating services. While the program delivered within Service 4 was highly aligned to the structure and intent of the original model, variation to the program was still evident. Importantly, four of the five participating programs were not collecting evaluation measures. Conclusions: Health services have adapted the original Family C.A.R.E program format to 'fit' the local service environment but have largely failed to collect data to facilitate evaluation. Inability to evaluate the program leads to uncertainty about program success and benefits as well as any unintended consequences for families engaging in unevaluated home visiting programs. This study highlights the importance of monitoring program fidelity and evaluating success given the potential ramifications for this vulnerable cohort and for health service delivery.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.