Blog | January 17, 2017

Why Ways & Means Chairman Brady is Spot On About MIECHV

This Texas business leader supports home visiting because it makes good business sense

Todd Blackford

I’ve spent more than 30 years in the oil and energy industry. While home visiting may seem like an unusual issue for someone with my background to support, I can tell you from experience that the economic and workforce impacts of home-visiting programs are vast.

Last week, House Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee and fellow Texan, Kevin Brady, highlighted home visiting in The Hill congressional blog. Here, Chairman Brady cites the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, or MIECHV, as a “solution(s) to help more families climb the economic ladder,” and “empowering parents to achieve better outcomes for themselves and their children.”

MIECHV is a solution that helps more families climb the economic ladder and empowers parents to achieve better outcomes for themselves and their children.

House Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX)

In Texas, the typical mother participating in home visiting is 19 years old, single, Latina, and on Medicaid. Engaging these young mothers early on offers a chance not only to shape their futures, but their children’s futures, as well. Research cited by the business leaders group, ReadyNation, shows that certain high-quality home visiting programs can benefit two generations, transforming lives. Imagine the impact for a high-risk young woman, to go from doing it all on her own, to having someone guide and support her along the way.

At-risk mothers who participate in home visiting learn how to further their education and obtain jobs, reducing their reliance on welfare. Furthermore, by reaching children in these homes early, we provide a foundation for their later workforce success. One study found that at-risk children who participated in home visits and early learning services were four times more likely to complete college and 42 percent more likely to be consistently employed at age 30. In other words, by engaging young mothers and offering them support, we create a more stable family environment that fosters the children’s success. In turn, that means more individuals in Texas and across the country are workforce-ready, and creates an increased talent pool for businesses to develop.

A high-performing workforce results from, among other things, early investment in both parents and children. Offering one-on-one coaching to young mothers, home visiting creates a voluntary partnership between families and highly trained professionals, who provide personal education from pregnancy through the first years of life.

In the coming year, MIECHV will be up for reauthorization, and we look to leaders like Chairman Brady to continue support of these programs that foster economic self-sufficiency and stability. By expanding and improving existing home visiting services, we create more independent families and set the country’s children up for success.

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Todd Blackford

COO of Toto Energy, LLC

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