Fund Health and Social Services for High-Risk Families

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Target: United States House of Representatives

Goal: Continue and expand the funding of evidence-based maternal, infant, and early childhood home visitation programs in the U.S.

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) is an evidence-based policy initiative that funds organizations to provide home-based health and social services to high-risk children and families. This dynamic approach has been linked with a multitude of social, economic and health successes, including better pregnancy outcomes, reduced child abuse and injuries, and improved parental employment with less dependence on welfare. However, MIECHV funding will not be extended unless Congress acts to continue funding beyond 2014.

Currently funded through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, MIECHV programs are already well entrenched in America. Fifty states, six U.S. territories and multiple tribal authorities utilize MIECHV funding for local, state or federal home visitation programs, and a reduction in federal funding for such programs will significantly reduce the extensive benefits gained through these programs. Multiple evidence-based findings tout the scope and variety of these benefits, ranging from improved antenatal health for mothers to less juvenile delinquency at age 15 among children who were enrolled in home visitations programs as infants. Individual home visitation programs, such as the Nurse-Family Partnership and Early Head Start, measure a high return on every dollar invested in their programs, in money saved by preventing treatable maternal, infant, and childhood conditions and by decreasing family dependence on welfare.

MIECHV funding is included in President Obama’s proposed 2014 fiscal year budget, along with a plan to invest $15 billion in MIECHV programs through 2024, but without congressional approval, the program will expire in 2014, reducing current home visitation program successes as well as the expansion of benefits to those in need. Action is needed to assure local, state, and federal programs that use this funding that they can continue their progress and improve social, economic and health measures among high-risk Americans.

By signing this petition, you will ask Congress to continue funding this important program that is proven to benefit all Americans, from high-risk children to wealthy taxpayers, and to affirm President Obama’s decision to secure and expand MIECHV funding until 2024.

PETITION LETTER

Dear members of Congress,

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program is an effective evidence-based policy initiative proven to ameliorate the social, economic, and medical well-being of high-risk children and their families, but it is at risk of losing the significant benefits so far achieved when current funding expires in 2014.

MIECHV’s benefits are well-supported with scientific research and range from immediate gains in maternal health to decreased crime rates among teenagers who were enrolled in home visitation programs during infancy. The rewards of MIECHV are comprehensive and, though targeted at high-risk children and their families, also benefit the population as a whole. Home visitation programs pay for themselves with the prevention of treatable conditions and the reduction of dependence on welfare for those enrolled. President Obama’s planned 2014 budget allocates continued funding for MIECHV programs and secures additional funding for the expansion of programs and their benefits through 2024.

I urge you to take action with your fellow representatives to support the continued funding and additional expansion of home visitation programs.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: americanprogress.org

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100 Signatures

  • Eric von Borstel
  • Hermann Kastner
  • James Thrailkill
  • Mal Gaff
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Nancy Petersen
  • Holly Hall
  • Frédérique Pommarat
  • Marianne Oelman
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