Evidence-Based Practice

The Baby TALK model in action

In January 2010, Baby TALK used seed money to support the organization’s mission – to positively impact child development and nurture healthy parent-child relationships during the critical early years – through applied research. Building a research component into Baby TALK’s mission was to ensure the organization met all requirements as an evidence-based early childhood intervention model.

In April 2014, Baby TALK, in collaboration with the American Institute for Research, has begun conducting a randomized control trial examining the implementation of the Baby TALK model with at-risk English and Spanish-speaking families with young children in Illinois. Using 120 families, the study will examine parent and child outcomes in the areas of parent engagement, parenting stress, and child cognitive and pre-literacy skills.

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In 2015, Baby TALK conducted a Newborn Encounter Randomized Control Trial. The study was designed to examine rigorously the differences in outcomes across parental competence, parental stress, and community connectedness based on whether the Newborn Encounter was administered to new mothers or not. The aim of this study was to provide preliminary rigorous evidence of the positive parental outcomes associated with Baby TALK’s Newborn Encounter protocol and this was done through randomly assigning new mothers to receive the Newborn Encounter. This efficacy study involved 150 mothers and their newborns and set the foundation for a larger scale randomized control trial examining outcomes associated with this tool in the future. 

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Baby TALK Findings

  • The Baby TALK model identifies mothers with high-risk characteristics including low education levels, unemployed status, single parents, and low-income status. (Research Report No.1, 2012)
  • The Baby TALK model’s community-based approach strategically places early childhood professionals throughout the community, a proactive approach that allows for the early identification of vulnerable families especially those who would remain below the radar for referrals. (Research Report No.1, 2012)
  • The Baby TALK model is able to identify young mothers (age 20 and under) who have high-risk characteristics. (Fact Sheet No.1, 2011)
  • The Baby TALK model identifies parents early in the child’s life in local hospitals and the local WIC office. (Fact Sheet No.1, 2011)
  • The Baby TALK model’s Newborn Encounter documentation tool is an effective method for identifying risks among newborns and new parents, and engaging parents through relational techniques the increase parent responsiveness. (Research Report No. 2, 2013)
  • Lower income families and younger parents reported lower levels of parental stress after receiving Baby TALK Home Visiting services (AIR RCT Research Report, May 2016).
  • Children of parents receiving Baby TALK Home Visiting services exhibited better language development that children who did not receive the same services especially among younger parents and those with a high school or higher education (AIR RCT Research Report, May 2016).
  • Families receiving Baby TALK Home Visiting services were less defensive in their responses to standardized instruments which may be attributed to the relational approach of the model. (AIR RCT Research Report, May 2016).

​Findings from previous studies include:

​Summary of Research

A randomized controlled trial examining home visiting services with refugees and immigrants. 

Dissemination Date - January 2018

The Baby TALK - RefugeeOne Randomized Controlled Trial Examining Home Visiting Services with Refugees and Immigrants used a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to test the impact of the Baby TALK Home Visiting Program Model on child and maternal outcomes among refugee and immigrant participants. This final report includes a summary of the study’s research questions, research design, procedures for data collection and randomization, description of final study sample, measures, data analyses plan, findings, and summary and consideration for future research.

This research study’s sample of 200 parents, of either refugee or undocumented immigrant status, with children between ages 3 and 36 months were recruited from the RefugeeOne Wellness Program in Chicago, Illinois. From this sample, 101 parents were randomly assigned to the treatment group and received Baby TALK home visiting services, and 99 parents were randomly assigned to the control group and did not receive home visiting services. Although this study mainly aimed to test for the impacts on parent and child outcomes using the Baby TALK Home Visiting Program Model, the study also examined the impact of home visiting on economic self-sufficiency, improvements in coordination and access to linkages and referrals to community resources, and changes in positive parenting strategies understood to enhance child and family well-being.

The Baby TALK – RefugeeOne Study full report.

Baby TALK Newborn Encounter RCT

The Baby TALK Home Visiting Efficacy RCT Study

Implementing the Baby TALK model with refugee populations

Newborn Encounters: Relationship-Based Referrals—Macon County

Model Fidelity and Self-Assessment Project

Baby TALK’s Early Childhood Professional Training Evaluation Pilot: Outcomes and Implications for the Early Childhood Teachers