A new national campaign to promote the reauthorization of the federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) initiative was launched today by a group of nearly 50 advocacy organizations.
The focus of the campaign is to ensure that this successful, evidence-based program is not just continued but also expanded so that even more at-risk families in all 50 states can benefit from home visiting.
The Florida MIECHV program, administered by the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions, currently funds home visiting sites in 28 high-need communities and adjacent areas. Local agencies implement one of three evidence-based home visiting models – Healthy Families Florida, Nurse-Family Partnership and Parents as Teachers – with federal MIECHV support. In 2015, these sites provided nearly 18,000 home visits to 1,799 expectant and new families who asked for help.
“Without reauthorization, the critical services provided by MIECHV-supported home visiting programs will be eliminated for families trying to climb the economic ladder. Home visiting can make all the difference in the lives of individual families and by extension, entire communities, breaking generations-long cycles of poverty, addiction, abuse and despair,” said Diedra Henry-Spires, CEO of the Dalton Daley Group and co-convener of the Home Visiting Coalition.
“Regular visits by caring, experienced professionals and trained peers can help parents turn their good intentions into good, solid parenting and coping skills,” said Karen Howard, vice president of early childhood policy at First Focus and co-convener of the Home Visiting Coalition. “We are excited to use this crucial moment to show how home visiting in general and MIECHV in particular are proven investments in the future of our children and families.”
The evidence data includes the following:
- Since MIECHV began in 2010, 85 percent of states have demonstrated improvement in parental participation in the workforce.
- 81 percent of states with MIECHV-supported programs have demonstrated improvement in maternal and newborn health from pregnancy until kindergarten.
- MIECHV programs have provided developmental delay screenings at frequency rates twice the national average, ensuring children are ready to thrive in school.
The 48-member coalition is calling for a five-year reauthorization with incremental funding increases until MIECHV reaches the funding level of $800 million per year. For more information about the Home Visiting Coalition visit homevisitingcoalition.com.