Press Release: Gov. Wolf’s $5 Million Increase for Voluntary Evidence-Based Home Visiting Will Help 800 More PA Families

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.”

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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.