House Passes Bipartisan Jackie Walorski Act
Council for a Strong America commends House members voting for the bill; urges Senate to act by December 16 deadline or families will lose crucial supports
On Tuesday, November 29th, the full House of Representatives passed the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022 in strong, bipartisan fashion by a vote of 390-26. Council for a Strong America applauds the House for its swift action to prioritize funding for voluntary home visiting programs. These research-supported programs help strengthen vulnerable families across the nation. However, unless the Senate also acts in time, federal funding for home visiting programs will expire on December 16th, and families will begin to lose services.
Voluntary home visiting programs, which operate throughout the country, receive funding through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) funding stream. The Walorski Act would strengthen MIECHV in a number of ways, including:
Doubling MIECHV funding over five years to serve more families nationwide, with an increase for each state
Doubling the tribal set-aside from three to six percent to serve more families in Native American communities
Allowing programs to continue virtual home visits in an evidence-based model, with at least one in-person visit per year
Strengthening and retaining the home visiting workforce
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. Research shows that these programs can 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 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 December 16th deadline makes this an urgent priority.
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, which may be found here.
An interactive map with state-level data on vulnerable families served by MIECHV-funded programs, which 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, which may be viewed here.
To see how each U.S. Representative voted on the Jackie Walorski Act, click here: https://clerk.house.gov/Votes/2022500
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