Press Release: $5 Million Increase for Evidence-Based Home Visiting a Small Step

The governing body members of Pennsylvania’s home visiting coalition said Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2019-20 budget proposal to increase the Community-Based Family Centers line by $5 million is a small step in the right direction, and released the following statement:

“Evidence-based home visiting is a research-proven tool to support the development and safety of our most vulnerable children and their families. The return on investment is significant, as evidence-based home visiting ultimately improves the health, safety, literacy and economic security of families who voluntarily enroll in the programs. We appreciate the proposed $5 million increase, but it is important to note additional, sustained investments are needed to provide access to more families and children needing this support.

“In part due to recent state investments there are six evidence-based models receiving state and/or federal dollars and each of the Commonwealth’s 67 counties has at least one model operating within it. Approximately 16,000 children are estimated to be served in the current state fiscal year, which means only 5 percent of children and families who need home visiting programs the most will be served. This clearly illustrates the need to expand these services to additional families and children.

“We look forward to working with policymakers to maximize this opportunity to invest in the children and families that need it the most.”

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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.