Governor Whitmer declares August as Home Visiting Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 27, 2021
Contact: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. - As part of Michigan's long-standing commitment to Home Visiting, a voluntary, evidence-based support for pregnant people and families with young children, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared August 2021 as Home Visiting Month in Michigan.

Home visiting is part of Michigan's larger Early Childhood system, and partners with families to support healthy pregnancies, healthy moms and healthy babies, improved school readiness, positive parenting, reduced child abuse and neglect, and commitment to supporting fathers and other caregivers.

The Michigan Home Visiting Initiative consists of eight, evidence-based models implemented in different parts of the state. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the Michigan Department of Education, the Children's Trust Fund, the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan and the Michigan Public Health Institute work collaboratively to grow and improve home visiting services, supporting families from prenatal through school entry.

"Home visiting is a critical component to supporting healthy moms, babies and families," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at the MDHHS). "Michigan is fortunate to have eight quality models that ensure a family is able to find a program that works for them. The partnership between state departments ensures a coordinated approach to building this valuable system that works for families."

Michigan's home-visiting models include Early Head Start, Family Spirit, Healthy Families America, Infant Mental Health, Maternal Infant Health Program, Nurse-Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers, and Play and Learning Strategies-Infant.

More than 195,000 home visits were completed through these models in fiscal year 2020, serving more than 23,000 families. Home visiting has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, directly supporting families by virtual visits, dropping off needed supplies, helping families navigate application processes to access assistance, and linking families with resources and other families for additional support.

The Home Visiting Initiative is committed to learning from families to further build and improve the system, encouraging parent leaders to be involved at the local and state level through the state of Michigan Home Visiting Advisory, Great Start Collaboratives and Parent Coalitions, Local Home Visiting Leadership Groups and Regional Perinatal Quality Collaboratives and others. Home Visiting is also a key strategy of the Mother Infant Health and Equity Improvement Plan aimed at improving maternal, infant and family outcomes with the vision of zero preventable deaths and zero health disparities.

More information about home visiting is available at Michigan.gov/homevisiting.

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