LITTLE ROCK – The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced $7,107,244 in funding to Arkansas through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program.
These grant funds allow the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) to continue to provide voluntary, evidence-based and promising practice home visiting services to women during pregnancy, and to parents with young children up to kindergarten entry.
In Arkansas, ADH implements the Nurse-Family Partnership program and partners with Arkansas Children’s Hospital to implement Healthy Families America, HIPPY, Parents as Teachers, and Following Baby Back Home, a promising home visiting approach.
Families in 53 counties are served by the MIECHV grant through 32 local implementing agencies and seven of ADH’s local health units. In 2016, Arkansas’s MIECHV programs served 2,409 households, 54 percent with household incomes at or below the federal poverty level.
“Home visiting can be a real game-changer,” said Bradley Planey, Family Health Branch Chief and Home Visiting Project Director at ADH. “The programs work to improve children’s health, development, and school readiness. They also support families with health screenings, referrals to resources, parenting advice, and guidance in many other areas of family life. This can mean a real difference in the life of the child and family.”
Nationally, the MIECHV Program serves almost 42 percent of U.S. counties with high rates of low birth weight infants, teen births, families living in poverty or infant mortality. More than 3.3 million home visits have been conducted through the MIECHV Program, serving parents and children in 893 counties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories. Three-fourths of families participating in the program had household incomes at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level.
“Evidence-based home visiting programs help children get off to a better, healthier start,” said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, MS, Ph.D. “Today’s awards allow states to support local agencies in providing home visiting services that meet the needs of families in their own communities.”
Administered by HRSA, in partnership with the Administration for Children and Families, the MIECHV Program gives pregnant women and families, particularly those considered at-risk, necessary resources and skills to raise children who are physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to learn.
Funded through the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 through FY 2017, the MIECHV Program is also addressing HHS’ clinical priorities such as serious mental illness and childhood obesity. Nationwide, $342 million in funding was awarded to 55 states, territories, and nonprofit organizations.
For more information on the home visiting programs in Arkansas, visit http://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/home-visiting-programs
For more information on HRSA's Home Visiting Program, visit http://mchb.hrsa.gov/programs/homevisiting.