MECSH Best Fit Checklist

Fit for Purpose

Through the MECSH co-design process, the program is adaptable to fit with local systems and match local needs. MECSH is integrated within the local service system as a sustained home visiting program predominantly for families needing ongoing support but also serving some families who require a more comprehensive response. Since the program builds practitioner skills and system capacity there are spillover effects to the broader community. Clients are identified, assessed for eligibility, recruited, and retained through the routine care provided by the local maternal, child, and family health services system.

Service System Requirements

The MECSH program requires that the maternal and child health services in the area served by the MECSH program have the following five system requirements:

  1. A system for identifying pregnant women**
    • Identify before 20 weeks gestation (preferably)
    • Hospital booking-in system enables early book-in
    • Work with community and health care providers (eg GPs)
  2. A system for assessing psychosocial risks of each family expecting an infant
    • Psychosocial risk questions
    • Edinburgh Depression Scale
  3. A process for reviewing families’ psychosocial risks to identify those families who would benefit from participation in the MECSH program
    • Facility to “flag” files of potential eligible families
    • Case discussion meetings to review families psychosocial risks
    • System generate a list of families to be offered the Program
  4. A process for contacting eligible families who would benefit from participation in the MECSH program in order to offer them the program
    • Initial contact to be made by Program Nurse
  5. A process for monitoring the identification of eligible families and uptake of the Program by families
    • Ongoing monitoring of requirements 1 to 3
    • Ongoing monitoring of requirement 4

The MECSH® program is a registered trademark of Western Sydney University and was originally developed at UNSW Sydney.

Child and family service providers implementing MECSH in their communities are provided with support through the license and a three-year implementation support package. Granting of a license signifies a commitment by the licensed child and family service to delivery of a quality intervention and service systems to meet the needs of vulnerable families in their community.

If you are considering implementing the MECSH program, please contact TReSI for more information.

** Families are ideally enrolled prenatally, but the program allows for families to start within 6-8 weeks after the baby is discharged home from the birthing admission, including for babies who spend additional time in hospital after birth due to health needs.

MECSH Checklist