States set to continue providing Nurse-Family Partnership to vulnerable families
DENVER, CO (February 9, 2018) — On Friday, Congress passed the bipartisan spending bill which reauthorizes funding for the bipartisan-supported Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. President Trump has signed the bill. This funding provides $400 million each year for five years for states to expand the Nurse-Family Partnership ® program and other evidence-based home visiting programs.
On September 30, 2017, Congress missed the deadline to reauthorize the MIECHV program, and the uncertain future put Nurse-Family Partnership programs in jeopardy of losing the ability to serve families in poverty. Some Nurse-Family Partnership programs were at risk of soon having to stop enrolling pregnant women and ending their programs. Nurse-Family Partnership advocates from communities across the U.S. continued to share with Congress how critical it was for nurses to be able to continue serving these vulnerable families at a time when they need it most.
“Congress has committed to what they know works to change outcomes for vulnerable children born into poverty,” said Frank Daidone, acting president and CEO of Nurse-Family Partnership. “Not only does MIECHV make a measurable, long-lasting difference in the lives of children and families, but government saves money, and communities are healthier and stronger for many generations.”
“We are thrilled for what this means for children and families,” said Sarah McGee, acting executive director for policy and government affairs at Nurse-Family Partnership. “The funding uncertainty is over for our nurses, families and agency partners. We thank our dedicated advocates across the country and our National Home Visiting Coalition partners for continuing to show Congress the impact of this program on their communities. This program is a lifesaver for families and is breaking cycles of poverty.”
According to the RAND Corporation, every $1 invested in Nurse-Family Partnership can yield up to $5.70 in return for the highest-risk families served.
The bipartisan-supported MIECHV program provides states with federal funding to implement Nurse-Family Partnership and other evidence-based home visiting programs. The MIECHV program holds states accountable for achieving successful outcomes over time with families enrolled in the following benchmark areas: improved maternal and newborn health; reduced child injuries, child abuse, neglect or maltreatment and emergency department visits; improved school readiness and achievement; reduced crime and domestic violence; improved family economic self-sufficiency; and improved coordination and referrals for community resources. A 2015 report showed that Nurse-Family Partnership had met all of these federally-required benchmarks for the MIECHV program.