The governing body members of Pennsylvania’s home visiting coalition today thanked Gov. Tom Wolf and the General Assembly for their commitment to voluntary evidence-based home visiting programs. The $5 million increase for the Community-Based Family Centers line in this year’s state budget will give 800 more Pennsylvania families access to home visiting programs. The coalition released the following statement:
“Voluntary, evidence-based home visiting is a research-proven tool to support the development and safety of our most vulnerable pregnant women, children and their families. Approximately 16,000 children are estimated to be served currently, which means only 5 percent of children and families who need home visiting programs the most are being served. With the $5 million state budget increase, 800 more families who are struggling to make ends meet and juggling the challenges of raising their young children will have access to programs that will help them learn about positive parenting, appropriate health and nutrition and literacy, and set them on a path to self-sufficiency.
“Far too many of Pennsylvania’s youngest children are at risk of child abuse and neglect, live in poverty, and experience poor education and health outcomes. At times, parents and others raising these at-risk children also need support to improve their education, health and economic stability. Home visiting can help. Our campaign is in its third year, and we’ve been successful in securing approximately $16.5 million in funding increases to help build successful families and stronger communities.”