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.”