Pro Kind

Project period

2006 – 2012

Project staff

Tilman Brand

Vivien Kurtz

Mareike Otto

Mona Bode

Svenja Burtschik

Inga Röring


TUI-Stiftung (biopsychosoziale Evaluation Niedersachsen)

Günter-Reimann-Dubbers-Stiftung / Dürr-Stiftung (Implementationsforschung Niedersachsen)

Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend (Implementationsforschung und biopsychosoziale Evaluation in Bremen und Sachsen; Kosten-Nutzen-Analyse in Bremen, Niedersachsen und Sachsen)

Sozialminsterium Sachsen (Implementationsforschung und biopsychosoziale Evaluation in Sachsen).

Cooperation partner

Prof. Dr. Tanja Jungmann (ISER, Universität Rostock, Leitung der Implementationsforschung und der biopsychosozialen Evaluation)

PD Dr. Peter F. Lutz (Institut für Öffentliche Finanzen, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Leitung der Kosten-Nutzen-Analyse)

Prof. Dr. Kai von Klitzing (Universitätsklinikum Leipzig, Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie)

Prof. Dr. Hüsamettin Günay (MHH, Leitung der zahnmedizinischen Begleitforschung)

Prof. Dr. David Olds (Direktor des Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health, University of Denver, Colorado)

Project description

With regard to children, the Pro Kind programme aims to promote emotional, cognitive and social development and to prevent neglect, maltreatment and abuse by making parents the primary addressees of the intervention: Healthy behaviour is encouraged from pregnancy onwards and parent-child attachment improved by enhancing intuitive parenting skills. With regard to mothers/parents, the programme aims at promoting the establishment and development of formal and informal networks. In the long term, the project is intended to enable families to become financially self-reliant and thus no longer dependent on unemployed benefit or social assistance, with an ancillary aim of reducing state welfare expenditure.

Pro Kind is based on the conceptual framework of the Nurse Family Partnership, a well-established, evidence-based early intervention programme of some 30 years’ standing in the US, in which financially and socially disadvantaged young families are continuously supported by visiting nurses. The home visits begin before the birth of the child and continue until its second birthday. “Pro Kind – Wir begleiten junge Familien” was a pilot project featuring outreach-based, client-centric support for pregnant women by professional family support workers in a differentiated individual approach. The project was implemented in Lower Saxony and Bremen in two variants that differed in how the family support was provided, with the home visits made either by a family support team (a midwife and a social educationalist) or a single family support worker (a midwife).

The implementation research mainly centred on how well the programme that had been designed and successfully established in the US can be implemented in Germany (process evaluation). A further research topic was the impact of the different modes of support (family support team versus single family support worker) with regard to effectiveness in reaching the target group, likelihood of staying in the project, and implementation of the programme framework. Finally, the implementation research looked at the ability to integrate and network the programme with existing social services offerings. Initial qualitative expert surveys on these questions were carried out with local authority staff, project leaders and family support workers.

In a biopsychosocial evaluation using quantitative and qualitative survey methods to assess the project’s efficacy, standardised interviews were conducted with women participating in the project (two during pregnancy and three subsequently up to the child’s third year). Child development was measured using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID)-II (Reuner et al., 2007) and a German language development test (SETK-2; Grimm, 2000). The quality of mother-child interaction was evaluated using the Maternal Behavior Rating Scale (Mahoney, 2008) and the CARE-Index (Crittenden, 2006).

A randomised control group design was used so that effects of the programme could be precisely attributed to the intervention. As the control group, half of the women received all welfare benefits and services available together with financial compensation for the time consumed by the accompanying research. As the treatment group, the other half of the women additionally received regular family support.

Data collection was completed in mid-2012.

Project related publications