Op-Ed: Lawmakers need to support this commonsense effort to keep kids safe – PennLive

Right now, evidence-based, home visiting programs are supporting the development and safety of our most vulnerable children and their families in Pennsylvania.

These programs, funded with state and federal resources, focus on several critical areas: reducing child abuse and neglect and improving family health, education and economic security. Unfortunately, not enough families have access to them.

A new statewide campaign, “Childhood Begins at Home,” has been designed to increase state funding and, in turn, access to these critical programs:

Early Head Start enhances the ability of low-income families to meet the developmental and early learning needs of their children at home. Health Families America strengthens families by promoting positive parenting, enhancing child health and development, and preventing child abuse and neglect.

Read the full article on PennLive >

The coalition is working to build successful families in Montour and Columbia Counties,  joining leaders for an event at the Danville Childhood Development Center.

Those in attendance were: Angela Mattis, Montour County District Attorney; Ashley Mensch, director, Columbia County Family Center; Allison Shay, parent educator, Parents as Teachers; a mother benefiting from voluntary home visits and Kari King, president and CEO, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.

Childhood Begins at Home held an event in March to highlight the need for more evidence-based home visiting in Montgomery County.

Those who participated included:

  • Nadine Miller, deputy administrator, Resource Division, Office of Children and Youth, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Kevin Steele, Montgomery County District Attorney;
  • Rosemarie Halt, senior director of policy, Maternity Care Coalition;
  • A mother benefiting from voluntary home visits; and
  • Kari King, president and CEO, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.

Family support advocates joined together at the Kingsley Center to discuss the need for evidence-based home visiting in Allegheny County.

The event included:

  • Marc Cherna, director of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services;
  • Dr. Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department;
  • Cara Ciminillo, executive director of Trying Together;
  • Local families benefiting from voluntary home visits; and
  • Kari King, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.

Lycoming County First Assistant District Attorney Martin Wade, joined with the Nurse-Family Partnership and other statewide and regional partners for a press conference at UPMC Susquehanna in Williamsport, to discuss evidence-based home visiting and the Childhood Begins at Home campaign’s efforts to ensure more state funding for the programs in Lycoming County.