April 27, 2012
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Grant Expands Home Visiting Program to High-Risk Children and Families in Virginia
(Richmond, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health recently received $6.2 million to expand the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) project. This federal grant is an expansion of previous grant awards and is provided through the Health Resources and Services Administration.
“This funding is good news for families in Virginia,” said State Health Commissioner Karen Remley, MD, MBA, FAAP. “It expands critical health services, promotes early learning opportunities and family support services to high-risk children and their families through evidence-based home visiting programs.”
The Virginia Department of Health, in collaboration with the Virginia Home Visiting Consortium, previously identified 42 at-risk communities through a rigorous review of data. These 42 communities are now being served by prior grant awards. This new grant award will allow expansion of services to an additional 13 to 15 sites, through a competitive process.
The funding will provide administrative support, including the development of sustainability models for home visiting in Virginia, training and technical assistance to home visitors and will examine ways to effectively link families to services.
The home visitor program allows nurses, social workers and other professionals to meet with at-risk families in their homes, discuss their unique situations and needs, and evaluate the families’ circumstances. Through these family meetings, home visitors connect families to the types of assistance or variety of resources that can make a real difference in a child’s health, development, and ability to learn, such as health care, developmental services for children, early education, parenting skills, child abuse prevention and nutrition education or assistance.
“This program exemplifies how collaboration and partnership at the federal, state and community levels can impact individual families through an evidence-based, ‘hands-on’ approach,” said Dr. Remley. “The continued efforts of local health departments and home visitors help assure that all Virginians can reach their full potential for health and well-being.”
For more information about the Virginia Home Visiting Consortium visit www.homevisitingva.com and www.vdh.virginia.gov. For information about MIECHEV programs in your community, contact Linda Foster, MPH, RD, Virginia Department of Health, at 804-864-7768, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.