New State Budget Supports Home Visiting, MCH Programs

Florida’s investment in home visiting and other family support programs was expanded in the 2015-16 state budget signed this week by the Governor. The new budget includes:

  • An additional $2 million in General Revenue funds to expand Healthy Families Florida. This brings the total funding for the program to $23.1 million in state and federal recurring dollars. Plans are underway to re-establish Healthy Families in Osceola, Seminole and Baker counties effective July 1, benefitting nearly 600 additional families.
  • $2.5 million in one-time funding for Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) to expand services in counties that scored less than 70% on school readiness assessments.
  • $2 million to expand the Help Me Grow Florida Network to connect children and families with information, resources, and developmental services to enhance the health, behavior, learning and development of young children. Help Me Grow programs are currently under development in three-five counties and will be mentored by founding programs in Miami-Dade and Hillsborough Counties.
  • $874,000 in one-time funding for the Nurse Family Partnership to work with Healthy Start Coalitions to integrate home visiting services in Federally Qualified Health Centers in Miami -Dade and Pasco counties.
  • Level funding of $68.9 million in General Revenue and Medicaid support for the state Healthy Start program to provide care coordination and risk reduction services to pregnant women and families of newborns. The budget also provides support to assist the program in implementing administrative changes brought about by Medicaid reform.

The $77 billion spending plan is the largest budget in the state’s history.