The role of community in facilitating service utilization

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Date of Original Version



Guided by an integrated theory of parent participation, this study examines the role community characteristics play in influencing a parent's decision to use voluntary child abuse prevention programs. Multiple regression techniques were used to determine if different community characteristics, such as neighborhood distress and the community's ratio of caregivers to those in need of care, predict service utilization levels in a widely available home visiting program. Our findings suggest that certain community characteristics are significant predictors of the extent to which families utilize voluntary family supports over and above the proportion of variance explained by personal characteristics and program experiences. Contrary to our initial assumptions, however, new parents living in the most disorganized communities received more home visits than program participants living in more organized communities. The article concludes with recommendations on how community capacity building might be used to improve participant retention. Copyright © by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community