Recently Released Home Visiting Supplemental Information Request (SIR)
Mar 30, 2011
By: Stephanie Schmit
The latest Evidence-Based Home Visiting Supplemental Information Request (SIR) has recently been released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with collaboration from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) as outlined in the first Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). This information request provides states guidance in preparing their updated plans for their home visiting programs. States must complete these plans to receive federal funds for home visiting programs. The new information request strengthens the earlier guidance in important ways.
The SIR addresses the requirements for updated state plans, the steps necessary for completing the requirements, and how HHS will review plans. It includes information explaining the criteria HHS uses to determine evidence-based models, the models initially found to meet the criteria, and details about using "promising approaches" in addition to evidence-based models. The SIR also addresses program implementation and requires states to update their plans to focus on quality. The implementation components necessary include (but are not limited to):
- how the state will develop standards regarding home visiting;
- a plan for recruiting and training qualified staff;
- a plan for ensuring fidelity to the chosen model; and
- a plan for recruiting and retaining program participants.
The flexibility that the SIR provides for states to combine a variety of home visiting models that will best fit their communities, coupled with requirements that they further flesh out their plans for coordinating with other programs, providers and systems, increase the likelihood that states will use the new home visiting program to strengthen their capacity to provide coordinated early childhood systems that are capable of meeting the needs of the children, families and caregivers. CLASP is pleased that the guidance gives states the tools and encouragement to use home visiting as a lever to change our approach to addressing the challenges facing young children and those who care for them.