In Focus: Integrating Systems

Jun 3, 2011  |  PERMALINK »

New Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Resources from HHS

On June 1, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for $224 million in  Fiscal Year 2011 (FY 2011) as part of the  Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV). The FOA seeks to accomplish two goals, as outlined in the document:  "(1) To award funds to states and jurisdictions that demonstrate interest and capacity to expand and/or enhance high-quality, evidence-based home visiting programs serving vulnerable families, which are embedded in comprehensive, high-quality early childhood systems and (2) support states and jurisdictions that may be taking initial steps toward building high-quality, evidence-based home visiting programs that are part of a comprehensive early childhood system."

The FOA explains that $125 million of the $224 million FY 2011 MIECHV allotment will be awarded through formula grants to states with no state receiving less than 120 percent of their FY 2010 allotment (estimated FY 2011 formula grants to states can be found in appendix B of the FOA). Additional information about the formula grants will be released in a companion FOA at a later date.

The other $99 million dollars will be distributed as competitive grants. The FOA provides two possible funding opportunities under the competitive funds: expansion grants and development grants. Expansion grants recognize states and jurisdictions that have already made significant progress toward implementing a high-quality home visiting program as part of a comprehensive, high-quality early childhood system. States can apply for expansion grants to expand the scale or scope of their current home visiting programs and/or enhance or improve existing programs. $66 million of the competitive funding will be awarded in FY 2011 to 7-10, four-year grantees. States can compete to receive between $6.6 million and $9.43 million annually. 

Development grants are for states and jurisdictions that currently have modest home visiting programs and want to build on existing efforts. $33 million of the competitive funding will be awarded in FY 2011 for 10-12 two-year grants. The total development grant award will range between $2.75 million and $3.3 million per year.

States must follow the application guidelines outlined in the FOA. Applications are due July 1. A more detailed CLASP analysis of the recently released FOA is forthcoming.

In addition to the FOA, HHS has released the much anticipated Evidence-Based Models Crosswalk to Benchmarks. According to HHS, "the crosswalk is a resource designed to provide information on the measurement tools evidence-based models utilize and their alignment with the MIECHV program's constructs under each benchmark area." This document is the result of requests from grantees to help them better determine which measurement tools are most appropriate for the communities they will serve with MIECHV dollars. Grantees can utilize the crosswalk as they complete their updated state plans which are due on June 8.


Mar 30, 2011  |  PERMALINK »

Recently Released Home Visiting Supplemental Information Request (SIR)

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.

Read CLASP's analysis of the SIR

View all of the released MIECHV guidance from HHS

May 11, 2010  |  PERMALINK »

HRSA and ACF Release Introductory Information on New Home Visiting Program

by Tiffany Conway Perrin

On May 7th, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Administration on Children and Families (ACF) released introductory information on implementation of the new home visiting program that was included as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 

Importantly, the release makes clear that, at the federal level, policy and program decisions will be made jointly between HRSA and ACF. Collaboration between child-serving agencies is also expected at the state level. Collaboration and coordination between agencies that serve children and their families is critical in designing effective state programs that will help ensure positive outcomes for children and families across a broad array of domains, including improved maternal and newborn health, greater school readiness and reduced child maltreatment.

Recognizing that the new law requires states to complete a new needs assessment to receive their Maternal and Child Health Block Grant funds and to apply for funding under the new home visiting program, the release indicates that information on the needs assessment is forthcoming. In the meantime, HRSA and ACF encourage states to start preparing by:

• Reading Section 2951 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

• Gathering the information required for the needs assessment as detailed in the law

• Thinking about how agencies in the state can collaboratively develop a needs assessment that coordinates the Title V needs assessment, the community-wide strategic planning and needs assessments under the Head Start Act, and the inventory of unmet needs and current community-based and prevention-focused activities under the Community Based Child Abuse Prevention Program (CAPTA)

The release also reiterates that states must select program models that are linked to benchmark areas specified in the law. HRSA and ACF will develop criteria to identify evidence-based models. Since the law sets forth important detail about the meaning of evidence-based models, states intending to apply for grants can begin thinking about what models make sense for them, prior to the notice of funding announcement, by reviewing section 511(d)(3)(A) of title V of the Social Security Act.

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