Home visits are not familiar to everyone, but many health care professionals know they are a valuable part of targeted care for the most vulnerable populations.
According to the National Home Visiting Resource Center, home visiting services reach hundreds of thousands of households each year, and in 2020, through the Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), provided life-changing support to 140,000 parents and children across the U.S.
Unfortunately, the federal funding for these programs through MIECHV is set to expire this fall if Congress doesn’t take action to reauthorize it.
All families experience periods of stress. Many struggle with poverty, and those families often need help from programs in the MIECHV system most.
Through these programs, trained social workers, nurses, and early childhood educators and other professionals come to families’ homes to provide education, support, and connection to community-based resources in a profound way, as documented by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
According to the National Home Visiting Coalition, Home visiting programs impact maternal mortality and morbidity by:
- Creating connections between mothers and health practitioners in the community, breaking down barriers to care and strengthening the link between healthcare resources and the families who need them;
- Creating human-to-human relationships that enable home visitors to provide supports based on the very specific needs of each family;
- Providing screening in maternal depression both prenatally and postpartum, and connect mothers in need with appropriate community-based interventions;
- Providing referrals for mothers when certain risk factors, including trauma or domestic violence, are present in the home;
- Targeting the social determinants of health affecting families, such as social support, parental stress, access to health care, income and poverty status, and environmental conditions.
With every visit, these knowledgeable, empathetic home visitors connect families to resources that can stabilize their situation and provide strategies to help lay the groundwork for families to thrive.
Home visitors can help new mothers practice effective disciplinary strategies, continue their education, get job training or find meaningful employment.
Studies from Harvard and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus further show that home visits lead to improvements in physical, emotional, and economic health. Patients who receive home visits are healthier and happier than they would have been without these critical services.
At least 80% of infant and early childhood health promotion happens in a child’s community, not in the pediatric clinic. Home visiting services are a critical resource for hundreds of thousands, and in thee age of global pandemic, the need for the MIECHV has never been greater.
Help us ask the federal government to continue to fund the MIECHV program and help vulnerable Americans in need. Click below to make a difference!Whizzco