National Supporters of Voluntary Home Visiting Kick Off Campaign as Time Nears for Congress to Reauthorize MIECHV
Widely Praised, Evidence-Based Program Must Be Reauthorized by End of September
WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 14, 2017—Parents like Elizabeth Eddings, a mother of three originally from Alabama, are anxiously awaiting news that Congress has voted to once again support the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program.
Eddings voluntarily enrolled in a home visiting program; through those regular visits with a trained parent educator, she was able to escape a difficult relationship, secure health interventions for her child, and is on the path to economic self-sufficiency.
“Thanks to my home visitor, who I understand is supported through the MIECHV program, my son has the help he needs,” says Eddings. “That’s why I’m in a position today to share with you why this program is so valuable to families and communities.”
Eddings, along with thousands of other moms and dads across the country, is encouraged to know advocates and supporters today launched a campaign for renewal of the program as it faces an end of September deadline for congressional action.
U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady of Texas would likely agree with Eddings’ assessment. The program “empowers parents to achieve better outcomes for themselves and their children,” Brady has written.
Tomorrow— March 15—the Ways and Means Committee’s Human Resources Subcommittee will hold a hearing on reauthorizing the legislation, where members will hear testimony from a teenage Pennsylvania mother about how MIECHV helped her learn how to be a positive parent while continuing to pursue her own education. The hearing will be streamed at https://waysandmeans.house.gov/live/.
The campaign and its website, which also launched today, is the work of the Home Visiting Coalition, a national group of home visiting models and advocates for children and families. Its main focus is to ensure that this successful, evidence-based program is not just continued but also expanded so that even more at-risk families in all 50 states can benefit from home visiting.