On Tuesday, January 8 at the Association of State and Tribal Home Visiting Initiatives (ASTHI) held one of the first briefings on Capitol Hill for the new Congress.
The focus of the briefing was to explain to members of Congress—including many of the new members—what research demonstrates when it comes to home visiting program. The briefing included comments Lenore Scott, steering committee founding member, New Jersey; a young mother, Danielle, a Nurse-Family Partnership graduate, Iowa; Sarah-Jean Salvy, PhD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California; Laurel Aparicio, Early Impact Virginia; and Ted McCann, former staffer Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WS).
Danielle discussed her experiences with the Nurse-Family Partnership and how she was in enrolled in the program at the age of 26 when she was pregnant with her first son. At the time she was also diagnosed with cancer and struggling with housing issues, postpartum depression and several other challenges. She graduated from the Nurse Family Partnership program in March 2018. Danielle provided the audience members with a description of some of the critical supports and efforts that the home visiting model provided to her through both her pregnancy and after the birth of her child.
Other discussion focused on some specific areas of research including one presentation by Sara-Jeanne Salvy who focused her comments on recent and ongoing research regarding home visiting programs and their effect on infant birth weight. Laurel Aparicio described recent efforts in Virginia and the seven home visiting models used in that state and how the new influx of new federal funds and policy changes in several areas are having an impact on local efforts and service coordination. Ted McCann discussed how evidence-based practice models in human services funding and programs can have a positive effect on future Washington D.C. action as far as legislation and appropriations.
As part of the Hill event, ASTHVI formally released, Research for Results: The Power of Home Visiting. The research is a white paper that highlights the findings from 33 studies examining outcomes in the six major benchmark areas for federally-funded home visiting program models.
The six outcome measures or benchmarks addressed in the research include: maternal and newborn health; child injuries and maltreatment; school readiness and achievement (includes parent child interaction); crime or domestic violence; family economic self-sufficiency; and coordination and referral.
The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program was reauthorized in February 2018 and continues funding at the same level of $400 million (minus the cross-the-board sequestration cuts). For a copy of state by state factsheets on MIECHV go here and for a copy of the research paper: Research for Results.