J Korean Soc Matern Child Health.  2018 May;22(2):63-76. 10.21896/jksmch.2018.22.2.63.

The Seoul Healthy First Step Project: Introduction and Expansion, Program Content and Performance, and Future Challenges

  • 1The Support Team for the Seoul Healthy First Step Project, Seoul, Korea. yhkhang@snu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Institute of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University Medical Research Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4College of Nursing, Research Institute of Nursing Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Department of Nursing, Soonchunhyang University, Cheonan, Korea.
  • 6Department of Nursing, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea.
  • 7Department of Preventive Medicine, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
  • 8Department of Family Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


With the motto "˜Equity from the Start for a Healthy Future', the Seoul Healthy First Step Project (SHFSP) was launched in 2013 in an attempt to support women with young children, to improve the health and development of babies, and eventually to close the gap in child development. The SHFSP contains both universal components (universal risk assessment of mothers and universal home visitation after birth) and selective components (prenatal and postnatal sustained home visits, mothers' groups, and community service linkage), thereby taking a proportionate universality approach. For sustained home visits, the SHFSP introduced the Maternal and Early Childhood Sustained Home-visiting (MECSH) program from Australia, which has been proven to be effective in improving maternal and childhood outcomes. Between 2013~2017, the SHFSP has paid 58,327 visits to roughly 38 thousand families with babies. In 2017, the SHFSP covered 19.6% of families with newborn babies in Seoul. The SHFSP conducted internal satisfaction surveys of universal and sustained visitation service recipients, in which an overwhelming majority of mothers provided positive feedback. A performance assessment conducted in 2016 by an external organization showed that 93% of SHFSP service recipients were satisfied with the home visitations. Considering the popular support for the program from mothers and families in Seoul (the most affluent area in Korea) and the lack of a national home visiting program to promote early childhood health and development, this program should be expanded nationally in the near future.


child development; home health nursing; infant; Korea; maternal-child health services; Seoul

MeSH Terms

Child Development
Home Health Nursing
House Calls
Infant, Newborn
Maternal-Child Health Services
Risk Assessment
Social Welfare
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