Ensuring children’s earliest relationships and experiences are positive and nurturing lays the foundation for their lifelong health and well-being. At scale, stronger childhoods lead to stronger families and more successful communities.
Home visiting programs support the creation of these conditions by using a two-generation approach that is proven to reduce child maltreatment, improve positive parenting practices, and increase family economic self-sufficiency by helping parents tap into the skills they already possess and bring out the best in themselves.
Continuing and improving this support to families cannot wait
Despite the proven success and critical nature of these programs, existing Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) funding is both insufficient to meet the needs of all families who need these services and is set to expire on September 30th.
The unmet need for these services in Colorado is significant: While some level of home visiting services is available in all counties, according to the Child Fatality Prevention System’s 2020 Annual Legislative Report, “Not a single county in Colorado… has home visiting programs to meet the overall needs of families in the county.”
Hope is here!
Thanks to the advocacy of the Home Visiting Coalition, Prevent Child Abuse America, and home visiting advocates around the country, a critical piece of legislation that would both reauthorize and make drastic improvements to federal MIECHV funding– the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act– was recently introduced and unanimously passed by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.
This exciting bill would:
- Bolster the capacity of existing evidence-based programs that are proven to reduce child abuse and neglect by increasing funding for program implementation
- Advance equity by doubling the amount of funding that is set aside for Tribal home visiting programs
- Enable programs to support families in the way that works best for them by continuing to allow visits to be conducted virtually
Learn more about the proposed legislation here.
What can we do to help?
Illuminate staff had a chance to meet with Senate and House offices in DC last week to reiterate the importance of this funding for Colorado families– but you don’t have to go to DC to support getting this bill passed!
The Home Visiting Coalition suggests the following key actions in support of this legislation:
- Reach out to your representative about the need for bipartisan reauthorization. The House Ways and Means Committee’s vote is a big step forward, but Congress needs to enact these policies to realize the opportunity they offer. Meet with, call, and email your Members of Congress to urge them to prioritize a bipartisan MIECHV reauthorization that lifts up the priorities of increased funding, doubling the Tribal set-aside, and allowing virtual home visits.
Not sure who your representative is? Find out here.
- Reach out to U.S. House members requesting their co-sponsorship. Further co-sponsors will help demonstrate the broad bipartisan support for this bill to Congressional leadership. You can see a list of current co-sponsors here.
- Engage policymakers on social media using this toolkit. Please use these sample messages and tag your Members of Congress to thank them for supporting and co-sponsoring, or to encourage them to do so.
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