Report | May 2, 2017

Parenting Works: The Public Safety and Economic Benefits of Home Visiting

How home visiting programs help at-risk parents, which in turn benefit society

Voluntary home visiting programs have been proven to be powerful: They offer vulnerable parents mentorship from a trained educator, from pregnancy into the first few years of a child’s life, using the simple logic that parenting works. Through periodic home visits, parents are equipped with the tools and skills they need to stimulate their child’s development and avoid harmful parenting practices that can result in neglect or abuse.

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program provides federal funding to states and localities to implement evidence-based home visiting programs that are tailored to their communities. More than 145,000 parents and children across the nation are enrolled in a MIECHV program, which was reauthorized in 2015 with bipartisan support. However, if Congress does not act this fall, this vital program will expire.

I didn’t know what good parenting looked like until I started working with a parent educator. I am motivated to be a better parent because she has shown me how.

Sharon, a participating mom with Parents as Teachers in Missouri

In this report, we outline several features that make MIECHV a stand-out federal program, worthy of reauthorization. For example, high-quality home visiting programs can prevent later crime by preventing child abuse and neglect. You’ll also read a first-person account of a mother who was helped by home visiting.

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  1. Home Visiting