Congress Asked to Continue Support for New Parents at Home
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The clock is ticking on federal funding for a program that helps struggling parents with young children.
Unless Congress takes action, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program will expire in March.
A coalition of 750 organizations and nonprofits, including 22 in Ohio, has sent a letter asking the program continue as it has for decades.
Renuka Mayadev, executive director of the Children's Defense Fund-Ohio, says the concept of home visitations has always had bipartisan support. Research has shown voluntary home visits, usually conducted by nurses or social workers, can prevent serious problems and learning deficits.
"The evidence-based Home Visiting Program has been shown to improve prenatal and birth outcomes and early childhood development," says Mayadev. "Most importantly, it prepares our young children for school."
According to Mayadev, there's another "payoff" to the program. She cites a RAND Corporation report that found home visiting programs saved up to $6.00 for every $1.00 invested.
Mayadev says many parents are very young, experienced abuse or neglect themselves as children, are disconnected from their parents, or have aged out of the foster system. They may also face a variety of financial challenges. She says home-visiting professionals offer non-judgmental support and can help parents be successful in their new role.
"There are many families who are struggling in this economy," she says. "Some are holding one, two, three jobs while taking care of all their children. They could use this support while taking care of a new infant."
The American Academy of Pediatrics, Prevent Child Abuse America, and The Salvation Army are among the national organizations which signed the letter. Ohio signatories to the letter include The Children's Defense Fund, Voices for Ohio's Children, and the Public Children Services Association of Ohio.
Funding nationally has been at about $400 million per year.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
In the wake of the devastating overdose epidemic in North Carolina, the state's Department of Health and Human Services is stepping up to aid …
In cities across the globe, including the Michigan city of Midland, various organizations are commemorating International Day of Peace today…
Georgia's young people could shift the political landscape of the state in the near future. New data from the Brookings Institution indicates that …
In rural Alabama, where hurricanes and tornadoes are a constant threat, communities often struggle with damage and limited resources for extended …
A group of West Virginia Democratic delegates is calling for a special session to address West Virginia University's budget shortfall. Del. Evan …
While many Wyomingites of Hispanic descent came from Mexico, there is a lesser-known population from the old Spanish settlements of northern New …
People in rural America are five times as likely to live in so-called "ambulance deserts," areas far from an ambulance service or station, than those …
Health and Wellness
The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is on the rise in Mississippi. About one in seven Mississippians lives with diabetes. Jernard A. Wells, cookbook …