Early intervention in Germany and in the USA: A comparison of supporting health services.

Early intervention in Germany and in the USA: A comparison of supporting health services.

The article at hand provides an overview of early childhood prevention and intervention in Germany and in the USA.

Presented are nine German and four US-American home-visitation programs, primarily targeting at-risk families.

The NZFH and MIECHV government coordinated programs which span federal states in both countries, are introduced. The evidence-based effects of the early prevention programs are briefly presented. Despite similar program approaches, the most important differences are the universality of public health care and social services, general prevention policies and staffing (family midwives in Germany vs. nurses or para-professionals in the USA).
Marisa Benz, Anna Sidorn, Institute for Psychosomatic Cooperation Research and Family Therapy, University Hospital Heidelberg, Bergheimerstr. 54, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany.

According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights ofthe Child (UNCRC) the signatory states are obliged to ensure that all children are protected from harm and danger and that their development is actively supported.

Regardless of their life circumstances, all children ought to have the same rights to education and health care (Sann & Hilfen, 2012).The individual mental and physical development of children occurs in their relationships with attachment figures.

The parental ability to establish and nurture safe relationships isessential for the mentally stable development of a child. Not all families can provide for such “good enough”conditions; today between 7% and 10% of children in industrialized countries grow up in so-called “high-risk”families(UNICEF, 2005)

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