Last week, FFYF joined with the Home Visiting Coalition Steering Committee to respond to a request for information from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Wyden on evidence-based solutions to improve maternal health. The Coalition letter calls for the Committee to adopt H.R. 4768, the Home Visiting to Reduce Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Act, which would double federal funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program over two years from $400 million to $800 million by 2022 and increase tribal set-aside funding from 3-6%. FFYF also submitted a letter, echoing the need for increased funding to expand the reach of MIECHV.
Home visiting plays an essential role in providing evidence-based services to families at risk of maternal mortality and morbidity.
MIECHV serves families beginning at pregnancy and lasting through their child’s kindergarten entry, allowing home visitors to establish trusted relationships with those they serve. These relationships allow home visitors to provide supports that address the very specific needs of each family and confront social determinants of health including social support, parental stress, access to health care, income and poverty status, and environmental conditions. The cumulative effect of these efforts is to empower, educate, and build resiliency in mothers facing a variety of adverse circumstances that affect their health in the perinatal period and into their child’s early years. A 2019 report estimated, however, that nearly 18 million pregnant women and families could benefit from home visiting but were not being reached. Increased funding for MIECHV would expand the reach of home visiting to address the causes of maternal mortality and morbidity and allow states and localities to target additional dollars where they are needed most.
Read the full letters below.