Standards for Military Family Readiness programs

2020 Edition

Family Advocacy Program Services (MIL-FAP) 3: New Parent Support Program (NPSP) Home Visiting Services

Home visitors work with at-risk families to improve parenting behaviors and family functioning by:

  1. implementing a protective factors approach to service delivery;
  2. helping the customer to establish a formal and informal support network;
  3. providing relevant referrals to resources and needed services;
  4. promoting nurturing and attachment; and
  5. conducting educational and skill building activities to promote positive life course development.
2020 Edition




Customers receiving Family Advocacy Program Services gain new competencies, improve individual and family functioning and resiliency, make connections in their community, and reduce their risk for family violence.

A protective factors approach to home visiting can be embedded into any chosen program model to mitigate risk and support the achievement of positive outcomes. 

Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the programs’ practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions; exceptions do not impact service quality and/or overall performance.
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance 
A rating of (2) indicates that a programs’ infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement. The majority of the standard's requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented.  Minor inconsistencies and practices that are not fully developed are noted, however, these do not significantly impact service quality and/or overall performance.
Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that significant aspects of the programs’ observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement. The program has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework. Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  Service quality or program functioning may be compromised. Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation and Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all. Observed infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.

Please see Rating Guidance for additional rating examples. 
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for linking customers to services and providing ongoing monitoring and follow-up (MIL-FAP 3.04)

MIL-FAP 3.01

Home visits are guided by an established, evidence-based model that is the basis for all program decisions including:
  1. assessment content;
  2. number of visits per year;
  3. length of visits;
  4. qualifications of the home visitor;
  5. staff training and supervision; and
  6. curriculum content, as applicable.
Note: Please see MIL-FAP 6 for additional assessment criteria.
Research on the effectiveness of home visiting programs identifies model fidelity as critical to achieving desired outcomes.

MIL-FAP 3.02

The frequency, intensity, and duration of services are adjusted as needed:
  1. based on each customer’s needs, risks, strengths, and circumstances; and
  2. to support the acquisition of skills through repetition and practice.
Note: Please see MIL-FAP 7 for additional service planning and monitoring criteria.

MIL-FAP 3.03

Customers are helped to reduce social isolation and develop positive connections with others by:
  1. maintaining and strengthening their relationships with others within the family, including the extended family when desired and appropriate; and
  2. developing and expanding their informal networks, including connections with friends, neighbors, and other members of their community.


MIL-FAP 3.04

Customers are helped to access needed services that:
  1. meet basic needs and help them care for their children;
  2. promote competency and positive life course development;
  3. address family stressors;
  4. support the child’s healthy development; and
  5. address behavioral health needs and concerns that may impede effective parenting.

Some home visiting research suggests that the presence of behavioral health and domestic abuse issues may limit the effectiveness of interventions intended to reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect and emphasizes the importance of ensuring that providers are prepared to: (1) recognize the presence of these risk factors, and (2) respond by linking customers with all needed services.

MIL-FAP 3.05

Educational interventions, materials, and curricula are adapted based on child and family characteristics, the input of customers and other stakeholders, and in accordance with the chosen program model.

Related Standards:


Examples of child and family characteristics include age, developmental level, special needs, race, culture, ethnicity, language, and literacy level.

MIL-FAP 3.06

Home visitors assist customers in developing needed skills through varied, interactive experiences including modeling, role play, verbal and written practice, and discussion as appropriate to the needs of the family and in accordance with the chosen program model.

Fundamental Practice

MIL-FAP 3.07

Home visitors educate parents on child development and child rearing topics including, as appropriate to the familiy’s needs and program model:
  1. basic caregiving routines;
  2. child growth and development, including physical, cognitive, and social development;
  3. environmental safety and injury prevention;
  4. meeting children’s health and emotional needs; and
  5. age-appropriate behavioral expectations and effective discipline for children.

MIL-FAP 3.08

Home visitors work with the customer to improve personal functioning and promote positive development by addressing the following, as appropriate to the family’s needs and program model:
  1. problem solving and decision-making;
  2. anger management;
  3. time, budget, and household management;
  4. communication skills;
  5. developing supportive networks;
  6. life transitions;
  7. personal growth and future aspirations; and/or
  8. effectively utilizing available resources.


MIL-FAP 3.09

Home visitors promote secure attachment and nurturing behaviors by providing the following, as appropriate to the family’s needs and program model:
  1. information on the relationship between secure attachment and nurturing behaviors and positive child development;
  2. examples of infant and child care strategies that promote bonding and attachment;
  3. opportunities to practice and obtain feedback on parent-child interactions; and
  4. strategies for involving fathers and other important adults when available and appropriate.

MIL-FAP 3.10

Home visitors promote parental resilience as appropriate to the family's needs and program model by partnering with the parent(s) to:

  1. recognize stress and identify triggers;
  2. develop strategies to prevent stress;
  3. develop and utilize stress management techniques; and
  4. access formal stress management resources or services when indicated.