Business Leaders for a Strong Start E-News March 2015

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IN THE NEWS

Cincinnati Enquirer Column: “Police Chief Blackwell: Home Visits Reduce Crime by Jeffrey Blackwell, Chief of the Cincinnati Police Department

New York Times Op-Ed: “ When Even the Starting Line Is Out of Reach by Nicholas Kristoff

Lexington Herald-Leader Op-Ed: “ Kentucky program aiding young parents and their children in jeopardy by Bill Garmer, Business Leaders for a Strong Start and Prichard Committee member

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Home Visiting Special Edition

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

The federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program provides funding for state home visiting programs like Kentucky’s HANDS (Health Access Nurturing Development Services) program. Funding for the program expires on March 31 and reauthorization is important to maintain the level of services in Kentucky.

HANDS is a voluntary program for parents and their child – prenatally to age two.  Mothers and fathers are mentored by trained professionals, who help them understand their child’s physical and emotional needs, the importance of a safe home environment, and how to cope with stressful parenting challenges. Most notably, HANDS home visiting has proven effective in reducing the incidence of low-birth weight babies, a significant cost driver of Medicaid, and decreasing child abuse and neglect by 47% compared to similar groups who did not participate in HANDS.

Let Congress know you support federal funding for home visiting. TAKE ACTION by  e-mailing your Congressman TODAY!

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PUBLIC POLICY HIGHLIGHT

“Will Congress Act Quickly to Save Federally Funded Home Visiting Programs?”
Ed Central; February 2015

This month, the federal funding for the country’s home visiting program is set to expire. Congress established the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program in 2010 and extended funding for the program for one year in March 2014. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell also showed strong support for the program stating, “The budget request…funds a voluntary evidence-based home visiting initiative that leaves a long-lasting positive impact on parenting skills, child development, and school readiness.”

Read more here.

Members of Kentucky’s Business Leaders for a Strong Start signed on to a letter in support last fall

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RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT

“Joining HANDS for a Comprehensive System of Care”

Kentucky’s HANDS home visiting program has embraced an innovative funding strategy, using Medicaid dollars to support an integrated set of health and mental health services for eligible families. This promising approach enables the program to reach many more families than it could with only state dollars and to create linkages between a wide array of state agencies and services.

This new brief, Joining HANDS for a Comprehensive System of Care takes an in-depth look at the Kentucky approach. It also identifies opportunities to leverage this strategy to meet requirements for the federal MIECHV program and offers recommendations for other states interested in implementing a similar approach.

Read more here.

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From the Archives…

“New Research Strengthens Home Visiting Field: Pew Home Visiting Campaign”
Zero to Three, January 2013

Extensive research has shown that home visiting parental education programs improve child and family outcomes, and they save money for states and taxpayers. Now the next generation of research is deepening understanding of those program elements that are essential to success, ways to improve existing models, and factors to consider in tailoring home visiting to local contexts and particular target populations. All new parents need good information about their child’s development to help them through the stress and uncertainty that come with having a baby. Years of research have shown that this vital support can be provided, in part, by formal parent-education programs called “home visiting.”

Read more here.

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Thank you for the generous support of United Way of Greater Cincinnati.

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