Council for a Strong America Endorses New Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Home Visiting
The Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022 would double investment in at-risk families over five years.
Washington, DC - Council for a Strong America applauds the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022 bipartisan legislation introduced by the House Ways and Means Committee to extend and strengthen the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. MIECHV is a bipartisan federal funding stream that supports voluntary, evidence-based home visiting programs that bolster families and help children succeed. Without congressional action, MIECHV funding will expire on September 30, 2022.
The law enforcement leaders, business leaders, and retired admirals and generals of Council for a Strong America have long advocated for high-quality home visiting programs because of the positive impacts that home visiting can have on children’s lives. Through home visiting programs funded by MIECHV, parents receive guidance, preparation, and tools needed to effectively stimulate healthy development in their children. This training also helps parents avoid harmful practices, such as child maltreatment, that can lead to long-term developmental issues.
High-quality, voluntary home visiting programs operate under the principle: early investments reduce costly problems in the future. By engaging expectant parents and parents of young children, home visiting professionals help our most vulnerable families by providing tools and resources to overcome barriers and impediments to success. Due to limited funding, currently MIECHV can only serve two percent of the highest-priority families eligible for voluntary home visiting.
The pathways to success created in part by these programs are what make MIECHV so impactful, a point that members of Council for a Strong America’s constituent organizations make clear.
“Home visiting programs offer a way to foster positive behaviors, educational development, and healthy habits early in life. They are a powerful tool to help preserve our national security,” said Lieutenant General (Ret.) Norman Seip, U.S. Air Force, who is a member of Mission: Readiness.
“Maltreated children are two-to-six times more likely to engage in criminality. Home visiting programs can cut child abuse and neglect in half. We must invest more in these effective programs,” noted Michael Ramos, former San Bernardino County (CA) District Attorney and a member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.
“High quality home visiting will help strengthen families for generations and maximize the potential benefit their children receive in early childhood services to build the workforce we need to keep our economy strong,” explained Katie Ferrier, Vice President for Education & Workforce Development with the San Antonio (TX) Chamber of Commerce and a member of ReadyNation.
The Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022 would:
- Double federal investment over five years, to reach $800 million annually by 2027
- Immediately increase federal base funding by $100 million nationwide in 2023
- Allow states to earn additional federal funding as a bonus, beginning in FY2024, eventually contributing up to a 25-percent state match (receiving $3 in federal funding for every $4 total)
- Double the tribal set-aside from three percent to six percent to serve more families in Native American and Alaska Native communities
- Continue virtual home visiting if part of an evidence-based model or a model enhancement
- Include dedicated funding for workforce support and retention
- Reduce state administrative burden
- Provide a new national dashboard on outcomes and impact of the program
“We’re extremely pleased by the progress that this new bill represents,” said Council for a Strong America President & CEO Barry Ford. “I want to thank the members of the House Ways & Means Committee for their commitment to bipartisan solutions to challenges that affect children across the country. I also want to thank the late Representative Jackie Walorski, who was a champion for children and families. Her tireless work on this committee played a critical role in moving this policy forward.”
“High-quality home visiting programs are an important tool in making sure that our youngest and most vulnerable Americans will be able to achieve success and help strengthen our nation in the decades to come. The increased funding and flexibility included in the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022 will help us reach that goal,” Ford added.
Although more work must be done to pass MIECHV reauthorization and expansion, this framework is a promising step. Its bipartisan nature also underscores the importance of home visiting as an issue that transcends partisan politics. Council for a Strong America and the members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Mission: Readiness, and ReadyNation will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our nation continues to invest in voluntary home visiting programs, including reauthorizing MIECHV before it expires.
Council for a Strong America just released a new research report outlining the importance of home visiting and sharing priorities for the bill. The report may be found here.
In addition, an interactive map with state-level data on vulnerable families served by MIECHV-funded programs may be found here.
Council for a Strong America’s letter of support for the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022 can be viewed here.
Council for a Strong America is a national, bipartisan nonprofit that unites membership organizations, including law enforcement leaders, retired admirals and generals, and business executives, that promote solutions ensuring that our next generation of Americans will be successful, productive members of society. Council for a Strong America has a 25-year track record of strengthening families, communities, the economy, and our national security.
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