Today, in recognition of National Women’s Health Week, and thanks to the American Rescue Plan, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded approximately $40 million in emergency home visiting funds to states, territories, and the District of Columbia to support children and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program supports the delivery of coordinated and comprehensive, high quality, voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services to children and families living in communities at risk for poor maternal and child health outcomes.
“Today’s investment demonstrates the Biden Administration’s commitment to addressing the needs of pregnant people and families, who have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “It is essential that we enhance access to home visiting programs so they can support families’ crucial health care services, early care and education, and family economic supports.”
These funds will be used to provide services and emergency supplies, such as diapers, food, water, and hand sanitizer. Families who cannot access home visiting services due to the pandemic will be provided technology to participate in virtual home visits. Funds will also be used to train home visitors on emergency preparedness and response planning for families and on how to safely conduct virtual intimate partner violence screenings.
“Through innovative programs like MIECHV, HRSA is committed to improving health and achieving health equity,” said HRSA Acting Administrator Diana Espinosa. “This funding will help bolster evidence-based programs and services that can be a lifeline for low-income parents and families in communities across the country.”
The MIECHV Program is administered by HRSA, in partnership with the Administration for Children and Families, to assist underserved parents and families at critical points in their lives. Over the past nine years, it has provided nearly seven million home visits. In FY 2020, almost three-fourths of families participating in the program had household incomes at or below 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, two-thirds of adult participants had a high school education or less and 78 percent of adults and children relied on Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
For a list of MIECHV award recipients, visit: https://mchb.hrsa.gov/maternal-child-health-initiatives/home-visiting/american-rescue-plan-awards.
For more information on HRSA’s Home Visiting Program, visit: http://mchb.hrsa.gov/programs/homevisiting.
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Author: HHS Press Office