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Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV)

The Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program that facilitates collaboration and partnership at the federal, state, and community levels to improve the health of at-risk children through evidence-based home visiting programs, has the real potential to grow significantly over the next five years, supporting salaries that can help recruit and retain staff and allow programs to reach more families.

This was the year for the reauthorization of MIECHV. Parents as Teachers, a leader in the steering committee of the National Home Visiting Coalition (NHVC), helped raise and manage more than $450,000 in grant funding to build visibility and awareness of home visiting with lawmakers on the Hill in Washington, D.C.

Parents as Teachers also conducted a day-long campaign kickoff in Baltimore, MD, and hosted a virtual Hill staff briefing with welcomes from U.S. Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Mike Crapo (R-ID), and a panel discussion with Family Voice. Parents as Teachers recruited witnesses for several congressional briefings and sent more than 3,600 messages to Congress from across the country.

The NHVC’s priorities are set against a 5-year extension, growing the program by $200 million per year for 5 years, doubling the Tribal set aside, and allowing the continuation of virtual home visits.

In late September, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee unanimously approved the bipartisan Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022. It had 183 co-sponsors, 85 Republican and 98 Democrat and included most of the coalition priorities. MIECHV was included in the Continuing Resolution, further signaling the strong bipartisan support for the program.

The HR8876 bill is named after Jackie Walorski, the late Congresswoman and Ranking Member of the Worker and Family Support Subcommittee of Ways and Means who had been negotiating tirelessly with Subcommittee Chair, Danny Davis, when she died. The NHVC continued to advocate with the Senate to ensure inclusion of MIECHV reauthorization in an end-of-year package of must-pass bills. We remain cautiously optimistic the bill will pass.

Show Me Strong Families

Of the more than 1,000 affiliates, two are embedded in the National Center and are referred to as Show Me Strong Families (SMSF) initiative. Last year, the city affiliate, funded through MIECHV, was awarded its Blue-Ribbon designation for demonstrating the highest quality of service delivery; Normandy Schools Collaborative Parents as Teachers earned its Blue-Ribbon the prior year.

The initiative also received funding from the St. Louis City Mental Health Board to support 40 families, primarily women living in shelters in the city, and the childcare centers that serve their children. SMSF now serves nearly 300 families annually through these affiliates. In the last year, more than one quarter of families enrolled prenatally.

  • 85% percent were Black/African American
  • 84% had two or more stressors, 94% reported low income
  • 30% reported housing instability
  • Ninety-seven percent of families were enrolled for at least two years (an 85% retention rate)
  • 82% of children were current on their immunizations

In the past year, SMSF increased its capacity to provide doula services to enrolled families. There are now five Black parent educators who are certified full-spectrum doulas, three of whom are lactation consultants. The doulas served 32 expectant families and made presentations at four national conferences.

“Because of my doula, my birth plan was followed. My experience went just the way I hoped it would.”

25-year-old mom of two, City of St. Louis.