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Home Visiting A strategy to help reduce.jpg

The Parents as Teachers National Center and the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs recently co-hosted a panel discussion at the Washington Capitol entitled “Home Visiting: A Strategy to help Reduce Disparities and Increase Child & Family Well-Being.”

The discussion centered around the effectiveness of the federal Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, featured U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), and was facilitated by Patricia Kempthorne, former First Lady of Idaho and board chair, Parents as Teachers National Center.

The panelists included Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, a renowned pediatrician working in the public interest; parent, Briana Jones, from PAT at YWCA of Rochester & Monroe Counties, NY; and Marcus Johnson-Miller, chief Bureau of Family Health at the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The MIECHV program, now in its 10th year, supports pregnant women and families with young children through evidence-based home visiting. Partnering with under-resourced families across the country, home visiting has demonstrated significant positive impacts on maternal and child health and well-being.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when childcare centers, schools, and other child-serving agencies had to close, home visiting programs pivoted quickly to virtual home visiting using interactive video conferencing and telecommunications while continuing to deliver activity kits, diapers, hygiene products, and other necessities to homes. Home visiting is an essential strategy that can help reduce disparities and increase child and family well-being.