Statement: Home visiting bill passes in the House
Updated following the House passage of the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022 (H.R. 8876. First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley issued the following statement:
“The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program has always enjoyed strong, bipartisan support and we are pleased to see lawmakers from both sides of the aisle joining to continue the critical services home visiting provides. The MIECHV program brings social workers, nurses, trained parents and other professionals directly to young families in need, ensuring that tens of thousands of children and the people who care for them get the social, emotional and health care support they need. We thank the House for its work in advancing the MIECHV program, and we urge Democrats and Republicans in Congress alike to renew its many benefits to our country and its children.”
The Jackie Walorski Maternal & Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act passed the House today on a 390-26 vote. Without further congressional action, MIECHV will expire on December 16.
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022 (H.R. 8876), a critical measure that would help ensure the well-being of children and their families across the country. In advance of the vote, First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley issued the following statement:
“Taking care of our nation’s children and their families is one of our most basic responsibilities as a country. The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program brings social workers, nurses, trained parents and other professionals directly to young families who need them. For more than a decade, MIECHV has effectively improved the health, economic stability, and overall well-being of the children and families it serves. Along with our colleagues in the Home Visiting Coalition, we strongly urge the House of Representatives to vote for H.R. 8876 and continue delivering vital home visiting services to families that need them.”
The Jackie Walorski Maternal & Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act emerged from the House Ways and Means Committee with unanimous, bipartisan support. First Focus Campaign for Children has been particularly encouraged by some of the bill’s critical measures, including a full five-year authorization, increased funding, doubling of the tribal set-aside, the continuation of virtual home visits, and new data collection disaggregated by race and ethnicity, all of which can be used to improve equity within MIECHV. It also creates a new set-aside to support and retain the home visiting workforce.
Created by the Affordable Care Act, MIECHV has provided home visits by nurses, social workers, early childhood educators, and specially trained parents to young families in need for more than a decade. But MIECHV’s purchasing power has eroded over that time, and currently serves less than 5% of eligible families who want coaching on topics including nutrition, safety, positive parenting techniques, and other areas to help them raise healthy children. MIECHV will expire on December 16 without Congressional action. The long-term authorization offered by the Jackie Walorski Maternal & Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act would allow states and programs to plan and to give home visitors stability in their jobs.