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Home Visiting with Justice System Involved Women: A Qualitative Study
AuthorReyes-Vargas, Maria Lilia
AdvisorWalsh, Bridget A.
Human Development and Family Studies
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate one Early Head Start-Home Based Option program and their home visiting work with pregnant incarcerated women. The study explored the experience in services, support and barriers encountered by pregnant incarcerated women receiving home visiting services. Method: Study participants included focus groups with (a) pregnant women in jail (n = 6), (b) non-jailed parents (n = 15), (c) home visitors with women in jail on their caseload (n = 8) and interviews with released women from jail (n = 3). Data collection was accrued within two phases, with 12 months in between. Analysis: Reflexive thematic analysis (see Braun & Clarke, 2006) was used. To promote rigor, there were three analysts and coding was conducted in Dedoose. Self-reflexive practices regarding the analysts’ biases and values were recorded. Findings were shared with home visitors and two additional researchers and feedback was acknowledged. Results: Examples of topics that were addressed in jail home visits included health/healthcare (with an emphasis on the challenges of it), attachment, and nutrition (with an emphasis on what it lacks). Pregnant women in jail experienced hardships in jail, such as struggles accessing help and lack of faith in medical care. One perceived strength from pregnant women in jail was social support from outside of the jail. Released women illustrated the transition from jail to community home visiting. Home visitors highlighted the importance of the relationship between home visitor and EHS-HBO participant by using a strengths-based approach that includes kindness and empathy. Conclusion: This study allowed the researcher to identify experiences, barriers, and strengths experienced by pregnant women in jail. This study concludes with practical and future research recommendations for home visiting with pregnant women in jail.