Bipartisan Home Visiting Bill Clears Committee
Council for a Strong America applauds this crucial step, but more work remains to avoid funding expiration on September 30th
On Wednesday, September 21, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to pass the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022 in strong, bipartisan fashion. The passage out of committee is an important step for this vital bill, and Council for a Strong America thanks the members of the Ways and Means Committee for prioritizing home visiting.
If passed by the full Congress, the bill would substantially increase federal investment in voluntary home visiting programs to serve more children and families. These programs, which operate throughout the country, receive funding through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) funding stream—funding that the Walorski Act would reauthorize and expand. Without reauthorization, MIECHV funding is set to expire on September 30th, and families will begin to lose services this year.
Council for a Strong America’s law enforcement, business, and retired military leaders have long supported MIECHV and voluntary home visiting programs as a way to strengthen families and build a healthier, more successful next generation. These programs help create positive outcomes, especially for vulnerable families and their infants and toddlers.
“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,” notes Michael Ramos, former San Bernardino County (CA) District Attorney and a member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, one of the membership groups that comprise Council for a Strong America.
Currently, there are approximately 3.4 million highest-priority families that could benefit from home visiting, but MIECHV only serves about 71,000 families (or two percent) due to limited funding. That unmet need—and the research-proven benefits that home visiting programs provide—are key reasons why Council for a Strong America’s members support updating and expanding MIECHV. The September 30th deadline makes this an urgent priority.
The Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022 would:
Double MIECHV funding over five years to serve more families nationwide, with an increase for each state
Double the tribal set-aside from three to six percent to serve more families in Native American communities
Allow programs to continue virtual home visits in an evidence-based model, with at least one in-person visit per year
Strengthen and retain the home visiting workforce
Additional, recent MIECHV-related resources from Council for a Strong America include:
A new research report outlining the importance of home visiting and sharing priorities for the bill may be found here.
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 may be viewed here.
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