Libby Doggett, director of the Pew Home Visiting Campaign, an initiative of the Pew Center on the States, released the following statement in response to the first round of competitive grants awarded in the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program:
“We are encouraged by the progress states are making in building strong, evidence-based home visiting programs. These competitive awards are a smart way to use scarce federal resources to improve the lives of children and families through home visiting programs that research shows yield results.
“The new federal investment to support home visiting has given states a significant incentive to dramatically improve their existing systems by tying public dollars to programs proven to be effective. The 22 states awarded competitive grants through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program have demonstrated plans to expand and add needed accountability to their existing home visiting systems.”
In 2010, Congress established the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, a significant national commitment—$1.5 billion over five years—to improve state-administered home visitation. This investment helps expand existing evidence-based programs and develop promising models. It shows there is federal recognition that some of the costliest social problems, such as child abuse and juvenile crime, are rooted in this early period of life.
Evidence-based home visiting is a voluntary prevention strategy that pairs parents with trained professionals to provide information and support during pregnancy and throughout a child's earliest years—a critical developmental period. When well implemented and targeted to families that benefit most, it has been shown to return up to $5.70 for every tax dollar invested.