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 Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting

 

Home visiting is rooted in the belief that services delivered in the home to families of children at risk for poor health and development outcomes can have measureable and long-term impacts on family and child wellbeing. This belief is common across models, but home visiting programs vary with respect to the services offered, the risks identified for the family, the age of the child, and the content of the curriculum delivered by home visitors [1]. State MCH programs have a long history of partnering with communities and utilizing home visiting strategies to improve the health of vulnerable women, children, and families. Prior to passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148), nearly 40 states managed or financed home visiting programs, the majority of which were overseen by state MCH programs.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) authorized the creation of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) under a new section of Title V of the Social Security Act. It provides $1.5 billion over five years to states, tribes and territories to develop and implement one or more evidence based home visitation models. This provision of the ACA responds to the diverse needs of children and families and provides an unprecedented opportunity for collaboration at the federal, state, and community levels for coordination of services, resources, and supports to improve the health and development outcomes for at-risk children. Since the MIECHV program was enacted in 2010, grantees have leveraged the funding to assemble leadership at the state level, establish cross-sector partnerships, and implement innovative approaches to building comprehensive statewide early childhood systems. Through these efforts, the Title V federal-state partnership has served a valuable role supporting systems integration, collective impact, quality, and accountability. Further, the Title V role in home visiting emphasizes prevention and wellness for all members of a community, encompasses social determinants of health, and brings a population lens to the client-based model of home visiting.  

AMCHP's Efforts Supporting MCH Programs in MIECHV Implementation

  1. Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Technical Assistance Coordinating Center (TACC): The MIECHV TACC provides support to HRSA grantees in implementing MIECHV funded home visiting programs. AMCHP partners with the TACC led by ZERO TO THREE, to provide targeted and universal technical assistance to states to help strengthen their infrastructure and support the delivery of evidence-based home visiting programs and collect and disseminate state best practices in home visiting settings. As a part of these efforts, AMCHP co-facilitates a Community of Practice (CoP) on data for MIECHV grantees and also participates in other CoPs and learning activities. For more information, please visit the TACC webpage or webinar archive.
  2. Home Visiting Research Network (HVRN): AMCHP serves on the steering committee of the HVRN funded by the MIECHV program. This national network strengthens the role of home visiting as part of a comprehensive system of services through developing a national home visiting research agenda, advancing the use of innovative research methods, and advancing the professional development of emerging home visiting researchers.
  3. Home Visiting Workshops and Trainings: At the 2014 AMCHP Annual Conference January 25-28, 2014, partners implementing home visiting programs will share their work and facilitate discussion on challenges and opportunities facing these programs. AMCHP will also conduct trainings and share resources on related topics, including quality improvement and the Affordable Care Act. View a list of home visiting workshops and trainings here.
  4. Information Dissemination: The November/December issue of AMCHP Pulse featured articles on home visiting and medical home from authors in the field. AMCHP uses newsletters and social media (including a November home visiting Twitter and Facebook campaign) to raise awareness of new opportunities and resources for MCH programs.
  5. Life Course Indicators: In October 2013, AMCHP released a final set of life course indicators as the culminating product of a year-long effort to identify and promote standardized indicators to measure progress using the life course approach to improve maternal and child health. A life course approach is critical to home visiting. Of the 59 indicators in the final indicator set, 23 indicators relate to the six MIECHV benchmark areas. Information on the final indicator set is available at http://www.amchp.org/lifecourseindicators.
  6. Policy Updates and MIECHV Reauthorization: AMCHP's policy team works to support adequate funding and sustainability for the MIECHV program. It is a central component of the AMCHP legislative and policy agenda.

Staff Contact

Erin Bonzon,
Associate Director, Women’s & Infant Health
(202) 266-3044
ebonzon@amchp.org

[1] Howard KS, Brooks-Gunn J. “The Role of Home-Visiting Programs in Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect.”  The Future of Children. 19.2(2009): 119-146.