FL MIECHV Posts Improvements in Statewide Performance

Statewide performance of FL MIECHV sites—an indicator of program impact — improved across most measures included in its 2018 annual report to the Health & Human Services Administration (HRSA). Collectively, the state improved or maintained high performance levels in 15 of 19 reported measures from 2017 to 2018. Notable advances include:

  • Tobacco Referrals increased from 35% to 91%,
  • Daily Early Language & Literacy activities moved from 56% to 71%, and
  • Completed Depression Referrals went from 9% to 23%.

The annual performance report highlights program activities in six benchmark areas: Maternal & Child Health; Child Injuries, Abuse & Neglect and ER Use; School Readiness & Achievement; Domestic Violence; Family Economic Self-Sufficiency, and Coordination and Referrals. The 2018 submission continues progress posted in prior years in both performance and data completeness.

In FY 18, FL MIECHV faced its greatest challenges in working with families to achieve self-sufficiency, specifically primary caregiver education and maintaining health insurance coverage.

The statewide initiative supports the implementation of three evidence-based home visiting models (Healthy Families Florida, Nurse-Family Partnership and Parents as Teachers) in 25 high-need communities and four contiguous areas.  These sites provided 29,220 home visits to 2,550 families in 2018, including 1,086 pregnant woman and 2,165 children. Nearly three-fourths of program participants had incomes below the federal poverty level.

Federal funding for evidence-based home visiting and early childhood systems development is provided to states based on needs and past performance. Florida’s program has been administered since 2013 by the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions (FAHSC).

FL MIECHV Demographics & Service Utilization Report 2018 and FL MIECHV Performance Measurement Report 2018 summarize aggregate data for local sites.  Site-specific reports are also provided to local programs to help inform their quality improvement activities.  In the coming year, state CQI efforts will focus on Safe Sleep, Early Language and Literacy/Parent-Child Interaction, Parent/Caregiver Depression, and Family Engagement (Enrollment, Home Visit Completion, Retention).


2018 Home Visiting Yearbook Offers Snapshot of Services, Families & Needs

The range and reach of home visiting – and its potential for impacting more families in need – is highlighted in the 2018 Home Visiting Yearbook, released today by the National Home Visiting Resource Center (NHVC).  The report provides a snapshot of home visiting programs around the country, families benefiting from services, and unmet needs. Among the findings:

  • Evidence-based home visiting programs are available in all 50 states, as well as DC, five territories, 25 tribal communities and currently reach 53% of all counties;
  • In 2017, more than 300,000 families received more than 3.5 million home visits through these programs, including 81,000 families served by programs funded by the federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) initiative.
  • About 18 million additional pregnant women and families could benefit from voluntary home visiting services nationwide.

The yearbook features state profiles, including demographic data on participants, as well as information about the models used to deliver services. According to the report, models currently implemented in Florida include Child First, Early Head Start Home-Based Option, Family Check-Up, Healthy Families America, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters, Minding the Baby, Nurse-Family Partnership, and Parents as Teachers.  Statewide, 108 local agencies operated at least one of these models.  These programs provided 310,000 home visits to more than 16,000 families in 2017.

FL MIECHV supported home visiting programs in 25 designated high-need counties and four contiguous areas.  These sites implement one of three evidence-based models: Nurse-Family Partnership, Healthy Families Florida or Parents As Teachers. In 2017, nearly 2,000 families received more than 22,000 home visits through MIECHV-funded programs.

Based on needs identified in the yearbook, an estimated 985,000 additional families in Florida could benefit from home visiting, including more than 640,000 infants and toddlers.

To provide context for the yearbook, NHVC also released a Home Visiting Primer summarizing the history of home visiting, its evidence base, demonstrated impact on critical needs, and sources of funding.

The 2018 Home Visiting Yearbook was produced by James Bell Associates and the Urban Institute.


Florida Earns “C” on 2018 Premature Birth Report Card

More than 10% of babies born in Florida in 2017 were born too soon, earning the state a “C” on the Premature Birth Report Card, released today by the March of Dimes. The overall U.S. preterm birth rate rose to 9.93% of births in 2017 from 9.85% in 2016, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Preterm birth— before 37 weeks gestation– is the leading cause of infant death in the first month of life. Babies born prematurely are at higher risk of mortality and morbidity, as well as developmental delay. FL MIECHV sites that provide services to mothers prenatally annually report the number of babies born preterm. Preterm birth rate is considered a system measure since it is influenced by a myriad of social and community factors beyond home visiting. In 2018, FL MIECHV sites reported a preterm birth rate of 10.7%, compared to 12% in the prior year.

Home visiting programs funded by MIECHV address preterm birth by focusing on key risk factors associated with prematurity and other poor birth outcomes. These risk factors include perinatal depression, intimate partner violence (IPV) and tobacco use during pregnancy. Performance on these measures by sites implementing one of three FL MIECHV-funded evidence-based home visiting models (NFP, HFF or PAT) is tracked annually and reported to HRSA.

The March of Dimes will hold its annual Florida Prematurity Prevention Summit September 29-30 at the Tampa Westshore Hilton. Register now to hear national speakers and learn more about community-based efforts to reduce preterm birth. FL MIECHV is a sponsor of the conference.

HRSA Release New Home Visiting Resource for Supporting Families Impacted by Opioids, NAS

The federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released a new resource today for home visiting programs working with families impacted by opioid epidemicHRSA’s Home Visiting Program: Supporting Families Impacted by Opioid Use and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome provides detailed information about the opioid epidemic, opioid use disorder (OUD), and NAS. It includes relevant research; offers strategies for MIECHV awardees and their state partners in early childhood, public health, and substance misuse and mental health treatment; and highlights promising efforts underway in several states.

Florida has experienced a 10-fold increase in NAS rates from 2002-2012. It is estimated that one NAS infant is born every 25 minutes. These trends have implications not only the care of these infants, but also for the burden and costs for both families and the health care system. Approximately 80% of hospital charges for NAS are covered by state Medicaid programs.

The FL MIECHV funded Parents as Teachers program in Pinellas County focuses on substance-involved families and collaborates closely with Operation PAR, a local treatment program.

The state Home Visiting Advisory Council will receive an update on new federal Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Act (CAPTA) requirements for plans of safe care, and the role of home visiting in providing follow-up support to families with babies experiencing NAS. The Council includes representatives from the state’s major home visiting programs, as well as state agencies working in public health, child protection and early learning.  The meeting will take place November 2 in Tallahassee.


FL ECCS Seeks New Place-Based Community

The FL Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) Impact initiative is seeking a place-based community to lead local systems building activities aimed at demonstrably improving developmental outcomes for children age 0-3. Interested applicants must document experience in implementing a place-based approach to address community needs, with a particular focus on children age 0-3; have established partnerships with key early childhood providers; and, be committed to using a racial equity lens in their work. Responses to the Request for Participation (RFP) will be reviewed and scored by an external objective review panel. An informational webinar will be held on October 25th at 9:30 a.m. to review the goals of the initiative and the RFP.


Hurricane Relief Update: Help Still Needed

Recovery efforts are continuing slowly in Panama City and surrounding areas of the Florida Panhandle impacted by Hurricane Michael.  Please share updated information below about items needed by local Parents As Teachers, Healthy Start, Healthy Families and other home visiting programs and consider making a donation to help with their recovery.

  • The Healthy Start Coalition of Bay, Franklin, Gulf , which administers the FL MIECHV-funded PAT program in Panama City, is accepting direct donations for recovery supplies. They have a specific need for Walmart gift cards since there is limited storage space for donated items.  These donations can be mailed to PO Box 9478 Panama City Beach, FL 32417. Donations are also being accepted through the Coalition’s PayPal account.
  • The Healthy Start Coalition of Santa Rosa County has offered storage space for hurricane relief items donated to Panama City programs. Donations of plastic storage bins, along with other items needed by families with young children, are appreciated. Contact Martha Zimmermann (MZimmermann@healthystartsantarosa.org) for delivery information.
  • The Ounce of Prevention Fund and Healthy Families Florida are also accepting direct donations for families affected by the storm. The Ounce is providing dollar for dollar match for all donations. DONATE HERE
  • The Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions (FAHSC) is collecting air mattresses, port-a-cribs, pre-mixed formula and nonperishable for distribution to families in affected areas, particularly Gadsden and Chipola Healthy Start areas.  Contact Conesta Woodard (Cwoodard@hsmnetwork.org) for shipping information.
  • Whole Child  Leon  has established a drop-off site in Tallahassee and is collecting donations of baby formula (pre-mixed), diapers and wipes. Drop off site is located at 1126 Lee Avenue and is open from 8:30 am to 5 pm. Contact Courtney Atkins at (850) 692-3134 for info. FAHSC will assist in getting these donations to affected sites.
  • The Junior League of Panama City operates an affiliate of the National Diaper Bank Network. They have organized a quick response to this emergency and working with local home visiting programs to address to families’ needs for basic supplies. DONATE HERE The League also has a wish list through Amazon. DONATE HERE

Thank you for your contributions and support!

Catch up on the Latest News from FL MIECHV!

Find out what happened at the First 1K Days FL Summit. . .Learn how we are doing in promoting safe sleep and why parents don’t always practice what we preach. . .See how you can support MIECHV-funded home visiting programs impacted by Hurricane Michael. . .Read about Florida’s new grant to address perinatal depression. . .Check out the new ECCS Impact RFP!  It’s all in the October edition of the FL MIECHV Newsletter.

Hurricane Michael Recovery: How You Can Help

Hurricane Michael had a devastating impact on Panama City and surrounding communities in the Panhandle. Both the Healthy Start Coalition and its FL MIECHV Parents as Teachers program serving Bay County are working hard to connect with families, after sustaining major damage among staff personally as well as to their offices. The Nurse-Family Partnership program serving Gadsden & Jackson Counties has also been impacted significantly.

To aid in recovery and support both staff and the families served by home visiting programs in these areas, we are providing the following suggestions for donations. Please share this information widely and consider supporting our Healthy Start, MIECHV, Healthy Families and other programs in their recovery.

The Junior League of Panama City operates an affiliate of the National Diaper Bank Network. They have organized a quick response to this emergency and working with local home visiting programs to address to families’ needs for basic supplies.


The League also has a wish list through Amazon.


The Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions, which administers FL MIECHV, is collecting air mattresses and port-a-cribs for distribution to families in affected areas.  Contact Conesta Woodard (Cwoodard@hsmnetwork.org) for shipping information.

  • Whole Child  Leon  has established a drop-off site in Tallahassee and is collecting donations of baby formula (pre-mixed), diapers and wipes. Drop off site is located at 1126 Lee Avenue and is open from 8:30 am to 5 pm. Contact Courtney Atkins at (850) 692-3134 for info. FAHSC will assist in getting these donations to affected sites.



  • The Ounce of Prevention Fund and Healthy Families Florida is accepting direct donations to assist families impacted by the storm. The Ounce is providing a dollar for dollar match for donations.


Check the MIECHV website for additional updates and opportunities.  Please keep the programs, their staff and participating families in your thoughts and prayers.

800 Participants, Early Childhood Experts Gather at 2018 First 1K Days FL Summit

More than 800 early childhood professionals in home visiting, infant mental health, early learning, and maternal and child health gathered recently in Palm Beach for the 2018 First 1000 Days Florida Summit. The highly-rated conference featured nationally recognized plenary presenters who provided the latest science on parental brain changes, making the minds of young children, the importance of social-emotional development, and early literacy. A luncheon plenary featured the moving perspectives of parents and their experiences in accessing services for themselves and their families. They reminded the audience that parent involvement requires authentic engagement and inclusion in decision-making.

The 2018 summit was sponsored by the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, Florida MIECHV and a host of other state and local organizations committed to improving outcomes for families with young children.

Florida Representative Erin Grall (R-Indian River) joined Senator Bobby Powell (D-Riviera Beach) in welcoming participants and underscored the importance of advocacy to support state investments in early childhood programs.

Attendees had an opportunity to participate in more than 40 skill-building workshops on a wide range of topics from pregnancy to infant mental health, child safety and early learning. Workshops focused on providing practical information and strategies to front-line staff, including how to reduce their own stress and compassion fatigue.

In addition to the break-out sessions, the summit featured a Showcase of Best Practices highlighting innovations from the field. Awards winners included – First Place: Little TYKES-Teaching Young Children Emotionally & Socially – Tykes & Teens; Second Place: Promoting Social-Emotional Wellness in Infants & Their Parents Through Welcome to Our World – Forty Carrots Family Center; Third Place: The TEACUP Preemie Program: Maintaining Family Engagement through FirstPlay Infant Storytelling Massage – The Children’s Healing Institute. Health Choice Network’s NFP Program won the People’s Choice Award for its poster on the integration of FQHC and home visiting services. Twenty-six posters were featured in the showcase.

Participants also explored more than 25 vendor exhibits and displays during the three-day conference. The summit also celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Early Steps, the state’s part C early intervention program.

A special thank you to all of the 2018 summit sponsors whose support contributed to the caliber and success of the summit. In addition to Marquee Sponsors FL MIECHV and the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, Gold Sponsors included the FL Department of Health – Family Health Services, Early Steps and Newborn Screening; the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe, FL Association of Healthy Start Coalitions, and Florida Campaign for Grade Level Reading. Silver Sponsors included the Charles & Mary Barancik Foundation—First 1000 Days Sarasota; Helios Education Fund; Children’s Services Council of Broward County, and the Quantum Foundation.

Bronze sponsors for the event included United Healthcare; the Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade, Kaplan Early Learning, the Center for Child Counseling, the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health; the Ounce of Prevention Fund of FL and the Parent Infant Program—FL School for the Deaf & Blind. Summit supporters included the Association of Early Learning Coalitions and the National Fatherhood Initiative.