New Report Outlines How Federal Program Has Played a Central Role in Expanding Home Visiting Services to Vulnerable Families

Washington, D.C.—Today, the Center for Law and Social Policy, or CLASP, and Center for American Progress, or CAP, released “An Investment in Our Future: How Federal Home Visiting Funding Provides Critical Support for Parents and Children,” a new report with cutting-edge information about how states have used federal funding to expand voluntary, evidence-based services to young children and their parents. The report comes just weeks before congressional funding for the program is scheduled to expire.

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting, or MIECHV, program provides federal resources to expand home visiting to at-risk children and parents. Research shows that home visiting can lead to improved outcomes, such as better maternal and child health, increased school readiness, and the prevention of child injuries, abuse, and neglect. MIECHV provides grants to all 50 states and many tribal communities to support maternal and newborn health, school readiness and achievement, and family economic self-sufficiency. The report details how states and tribes have used home visiting funds to expand and improve services for vulnerable communities, including training staff to ensure higher-quality services, creating and maintaining data for tracking and program improvement, and developing new and innovative approaches to meet local needs.

“Our report shines a light on how this federal investment in at-risk families has allowed states and tribes to increase the number of families served and make their systems more efficient. Hearing firsthand how many families are being helped, it is clear that Congress needs to reauthorize MIECHV and continue its support of quality and innovation,” said Stephanie Schmit, CLASP Senior Policy Analyst and co-author of the report.

“Without action from Congress, the home visiting program will expire in just a few short weeks. Today’s report from CLASP and CAP demonstrates how essential continued investment in federal home visiting programs is to ensure that underserved populations receive support through a sustained system that is already working in high-risk communities,” said Rachel Herzfeldt-Kamprath, CAP Policy Analyst and co-author of the report. “It’s essential that Congress continue to fund MIECHV, which provides critical support to home visiting initiatives that have a real impact on how we serve families by building better networks of care over the long term.”

The report includes information gathered through interviews with 20 states and two tribal organizations regarding how federal support through MIECHV is allowing states and tribes to make major gains in four areas:

  • Innovation: MIECHV gives state and tribes the freedom and flexibility to be creative in how they achieve grant goals by piloting and evaluating promising practices.
  • Collaboration: MIECHV helps states integrate services across programs that serve young children, ensuring more effective and efficient use of funds.
  • Building data systems: MIECHV enables investments in new data systems, allowing states and tribes to better leverage information to support evaluation and continuous quality improvement in the home visiting community.
  • Systems building: MIECHV fosters new relationships and processes that coordinate the range of available home visiting services, ensuring families’ needs are met efficiently.

Corresponding state profiles are also available on the following states: California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. Additionally, two tribal MIECHV grantee profiles are available from the Native American Professional Parent Resources, Inc., or NAPPR, and the South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency, or SPIPA.

Click here to read “An Investment in Our Future: How Federal Home Visiting Funding Provides Critical Support for Parents and Children” by Stephanie Schmit, Christina Walker, and Rachel Herzfeldt-Kamprath.

Click here to read more about the breadth of innovation and success across the country as a result of MIECHV funding.

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The Center for Law and Social Policy, or CLASP, advocates for public policies that reduce poverty, improve the lives of poor people, and create ladders to economic security for all, regardless of race, gender, or geography. We target large-scale opportunities to reform federal and state programs, funding, and service systems and then work on the ground for effective implementation. Our research, analysis, and advocacy foster new ideas, position governments, and advocate to better serve low-income people. For more information, visit http://www.clasp.org and follow @CLASP_DC.

The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is "of the people, by the people, and for the people."