Michigan receives $3.5 million grant for Home Visiting Program promoting maternal, infant and early childhood health

Contact: Jennifer Smith 517-241-2112

For Immediate Release: February 24, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan’s program offering home visits to help vulnerable and at-risk mothers will get a boost from a $3.5 million federal grant to the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH).

The program works to promote maternal, infant and early childhood health, development, and safety; school readiness; and strong parent-child relationships to improve health outcomes.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the grant to the MDCH Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program will run through September 2017.

“Evidence-based home visiting programs are proven to be an effective way to improve health, safety and child development, so this is an excellent opportunity to continue our support of Michigan families,” MDCH Director Nick Lyon said.

“While our infant mortality rates are declining, these funds will go a long way to help us better serve our residents in communities with significant need to ensure our children have a healthy start in life,” said Lyon.

Early Childhood Home Visiting programs provide voluntary, prevention-focused services in the homes of pregnant women and families with children ages 0-5 by connecting trained professionals with vulnerable and at-risk mothers and families to nurture, support, coach, educate and offer encouragement with the goal that all children grow and develop in a safe and stimulating environment.

Statewide, more than 600 professionals serve an estimated 25,000 each year.

There are a number of issues that families in at-risk communities experience including poverty, unemployment, crime and domestic violence, child maltreatment, substance abuse, infant mortality, and poor school outcomes.

The expansion funds will be used to continue and improve home visiting services in several counties; build infrastructure to support the quality and success of home visiting services; and expand local stakeholder involvement and coordination.

Past awards have similarly been used to help strengthen Michigan’s home visiting system and support integration of early childhood home visiting within Michigan’s Great Start Early Childhood system.

The Michigan Home Visiting Initiative is a multi-agency effort of the Departments of Community Health, Education and Human Services in support of Michigan families.

For more information about the Michigan Home Visiting Initiative, visit http://www.michigan.gov/homevisiting.

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