The National Research and Evaluation Center (NREC)

About Us

In February 2012, the University of South Florida (USF) established a national research center for HIPPY USA. This joint initiative resulted in the National Research and Evaluation Center (NREC) housed within the USF Department of Child and Family Studies in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences (CBCS).

The purpose of the NREC is to advance the evidence base for HIPPY and support the research and evaluation efforts of HIPPY programs across the United States.

The HIPPY USA NREC goals are as follows:

  • Expand the knowledge base regarding program effectiveness, particularly as it relates to achieving the HIPPY USA mission of empowering parents as the primary educators of their children in the home and fostering parent involvement in school and community life to maximize the chances of successful early school experiences.
  • Establish a national research agenda and strategy for HIPPY USA.
  • Build collaborative research partnerships across HIPPY programs, community supporters, universities, government, and non-profit organizations.
  • Provide program evaluation resources including research briefs; guidelines for research design and data collection methods; and recommendations for instruments and measurement tools for child, parent, and community outcomes.
  • Obtain grant funding to conduct research and a national evaluation. National, state, and local research and evaluation efforts will be initiated through collaborative partnerships with programs and universities across the county and internationally.
  • Contribute to the evidence base and knowledge about “what works” for the HIPPY model across programs and within the broader field of early childhood intervention home visiting services.

The HIPPY USA National Research and Evaluation Center has focused on building capacity and infrastructure to serve as an effective and sustainable resource of HIPPY and the home visiting field and recommended practice for evidence based early childhood intervention during the first year. One of the goals of the National Research and Evaluation Center (NREC) is to engage in joint projects to enhance shared understanding about effective dimensions of HIPPY, as well as transformative practice within in the early childhood intervention and home visiting field within a broader context.

“Education enhances lives. It ends generational cycles of poverty and disease and provides a foundation for sustainable development.”


We invite you to help us accomplish these goals.

Join us as a HIPPY state director, program coordinator, home visitor, program funder, university partner, or community supporter. Becoming a member of the NREC community is free and provides opportunities to access different resources. JOIN NOW


HIPPY Research Advisory Committee

Mario Hernandez, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Child and Family Studies
University of South Florida

Miriam Westheimer, Ed.D
HIPPY International Director

Lia Lent, MSW
HIPPY USA National Executive Director

Paul Wirtz, PhD
Northern Kentucky University

Mark Gross, PhD
Family Central, Inc