The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced approximately $22,201,618 in funding to California to support the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (Federal Home Visiting Program). Nationally, $345 million in funding was awarded to 55 states, territories, and nonprofit organizations. These funds allow grantees to continue to expand voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services to women during pregnancy, and to parents with young children up to kindergarten entry.
“Evidence-based federal home visiting programs help children get off to a better, healthier start,” said HRSA Acting Administrator Jim Macrae. “The awards allow California and states around the nation to support local agencies in providing home visiting services that meet the needs of families in their own communities.”
The home visiting program provides support for preventive health and prenatal practices such as helping mothers find suitable prenatal care, improve their diets, and reduce use of tobacco, alcohol, and illegal substances.
The Federal Home Visiting Program serves almost 40 percent of U.S. counties with high rates of low birth weight infants, teen births, families living in poverty or infant mortality. More than 2.3 million home visits have been conducted through the Federal Home Visiting Program, serving parents and children in 825 counties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories. Nearly 80 percent of families participating in the program had household incomes at or below 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
“The Federal Home Visiting Program helps parents connect with services and resources and improve the skills they need to ensure their children are physically, socially and emotionally healthy and ready to learn,” said HRSA Associate Administrator for the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Michael Lu, MD, MPH. “In these voluntary programs, trained nurses, social workers, early childhood educators, or other trained professionals meet regularly with expectant parents or families with young children in their homes, building strong, positive relationships with families who want and need support.”
Administered by HRSA, in close partnership with the Administration for Children and Families, the Federal Home Visiting Program is part of President Obama's Early Learning Initiative, focusing on both high-quality infant and toddler care through Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships and universal Pre-K to improve the essential foundations in early childhood for future healthy development and well-being.
For more information on HRSA’s Home Visiting Program, visit http://mchb.hrsa.gov/programs/homevisiting.