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Universal Home Visiting For New Families - An Investment In Our Future

Support for pregnant moms and very young kids has been called “the most cost-effective economic investment” we can make. Evidence-based maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting has been proven to change lives for years to come. The Universal Home Visiting Act allows universal access to these life-changing, evidence-based programs for eligible families. Over time, it pays for itself financially in reduced health, education and criminal justice costs. And the biggest payback is invaluable: improved lives.

The National Landscape

Passed in:

Maine (12), Hawaii

In The News

“Speaking about her home visiting experience in Memphis, Ms. Corley, 28, the mother who drove herself to the hospital, said Ms. Pletz, who has been visiting her for two years, had made a difference. She ‘has been my counselor, my girlfriend, my nurse,’ Ms. Corley said. . . . ‘She knows more about me than my own family does,’ Ms. Corley said. ‘I feel like I’ve grown more wise. I feel stronger for sure.’”
“Women who participate in the [home visiting] program have improved prenatal health, fewer subsequent pregnancies, and longer intervals between pregnancies. Their children have fewer injuries, are more likely to arrive to school ready to learn, and are even less likely to commit juvenile crimes.”

Partners

  • Early childhood advocates
  • Working and low-income families advocates
  • Education advocates
  • Fiscal watchdogs

Opposition

None noted
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FAQ

Who does this help?
This bill benefits struggling families and all taxpayers, by cutting costs on healthcare, social services, criminal justice, and more. A remarkably effective program, studies find that maternal home visits improve overall quality of health care for parents and children over the long-term, reduce the need for government intervention, and even reduce incarceration rates fifteen year later.
How is this this so low cost to the state?
Because these programs are proven to pay for themselves, there are many creative funding streams. In fact, the model program allows states to pursue federal and foundation funding (including through Pay for Success programs where investors provide initial program funding).
Print

Model Policy

SECTION 1 (TITLE):
This act shall be known as the Universal Maternal Home Visiting Act..

SECTION 2 (PURPOSE):
This act establishes a universal maternal home visiting program that offers evidence-based maternal home visiting universally to eligible families.

SECTION 3 (PROVISIONS):

(a) It is the goal of STATE to offer evidence-based maternal home visiting programs universally to eligible families.

(b) Accordingly, within 100 days the Department is directed to produce and post publicly a plan to make substantial progress annually over five years toward offering evidence-based maternal home visiting programs universally to eligible families.

(c) The plan may include (1) expansion of existing maternal home visiting programs; (2) proposed applications for federal and foundation grant funding; (3) “Pay for Success” social impact bonds; and/or (4) any other programs the Department identifies that would result in an efficient expansion of maternal home visiting service offerings. The plan should target expansion of maternal home visiting programs by at least 20% per year.

(d) The plan should detail which actions the Department can pursue on its own without additional legislative action, and, within 60 days of the plan’s publication, the Department shall commence those programs.

(e) For aspects of the plan that would require additional action by the legislature, the Department shall include in the plan specific requests and outlines of legislative action needed, including budget requests.

(f) Definitions

  • (i) “maternal home visiting program” as defined in this section means an evidence-based home visiting models that is proven to improve child health and be cost effective, as measured by the federal Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE) program.

  • (ii) “eligible families” means families who are eligible for home visiting services under a service delivery model included in the definition in (i).