Colorado receives $10 million to support family home visits
The U.S. Health and Human Services Department announced $9,951,443 in grant awards to Colorado to support the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.
The funds will allow Colorado to keep expanding voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services to women during pregnancy and to parents with young children. Nationally, $386 million was awarded to states, territories and nonprofit organizations to support the program.
“Home visits by a nurse, social worker or early childhood educator during pregnancy and in the first years of life can make a tremendous difference in the lives of many children and their families,” said Sylvia M. Burwell, department secretary. “Today’s awards give Colorado the flexibility to tailor its home visiting programs to address the specific needs of the communities it serves.”
The program currently serves about a third of the counties in the country with high rates of low birth weight, teen births, poverty and infant mortality. More than 1.4 million home visits have been conducted through the national program, serving parents and children in 721 counties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories.
In 2014, the program served 115,000 parents and children, and nearly 80 percent of families participating in the program had household incomes at or below the 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
“The Home Visiting Program gives parents who chose to participate the tools they need to support healthy outcomes for their children,” said Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., RN, of the Health Resources and Services Administration. “Evidence-based home visiting services are proven to help improve maternal and child health, prevent child abuse and neglect, and enhance school-readiness.”
Administered by HRSA, in close partnership with the Administration for Children and Families, the program is one part of President Obama’s Early Learning Initiative that focuses 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.
Current authority for the program expires March 31. Obama’s budget requests $500 million for fiscal year 2016 and $15 billion over the next 10 years to continue to expand the program. For more information, visit http://mchb.hrsa.gov/programs/homevisiting.
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