Press Release: Childhood Begins at Home Statement on Passage of Stopgap Budget

Voluntary, Evidence-Based Home Visiting Services Preserved in Stopgap Budget

HARRISBURG, PA (May 29, 2020) – The Childhood Begins at Home campaign released the following statement after passage of the five-month stopgap state budget:

“Families need support now more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic and evidence-based home visiting services for our children and families will be preserved under the stopgap budget policymakers approved on May 28th. Voluntary evidence-based home visiting programs improve maternal health, child well-being and family self-sufficiency and staying connected to home visiting services through virtual visits or tele-visits can be a lifeline for families sheltering-at-home.

“Additionally, partners in the campaign will continue to push for $100 million in federal stimulus funding to provide home visitors with additional flexibility and resources for virtual home visits and emergency supplies.

“With more than 17,000 families receiving voluntary home visiting services in Pennsylvania, supporting our home visitors reinforces the safety net for young children and families who face an even longer road to self-sufficiency due to the pandemic. In the coming months, our campaign will continue working to strengthen home visiting services across our state.”

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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.