DC Action Joins National Call to Congress for Support for Home Visiting

For decades, home visiting has been an important way to support District families navigating parenthood and the earliest years of their children’s lives. Today, 13 diverse organizations have home visiting programs that provide 1,260 DC children and families with stable, accessible, and supportive guidance and resources around parenting, education, and family health. 

Now, during the COVID-19 public health crisis and government orders for DC residents to stay home, the reliable lifeline that home visitors provide to families living on the margins is even more essential. 

To ensure that DC’s home visiting programs are able to remain open and continue to find innovative ways to serve families, DC Action recently signed onto a petition to Congress. We endorsed the National Home Visiting Coalition’s request for a one-time $100 million investment in the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) and for flexibility in MIECHV program requirements. 

The letter that DC Action signed calls on Congress to:

  • Prioritize a one-time $100 million appropriation for MIECHV, which can be used to train home visitors to deliver services through technology and for families’ tangible needs including accessible technology, formula, and diapers.
  • Allow virtual visits to be considered home visits through the end of the calendar year to safely preserve valuable relationships without being penalized.
  • Maintain all funding for and staffing levels of MIECHV programs regardless of potential temporary reductions in enrollment to preserve the existing home visiting infrastructure.

Home visitors are a critical link of support for families who are facing a variety of challenges that will be exacerbated by this crisis. DC Action is committed to preserving the invaluable relationships that have already been established between home visitors and families, and to making sure families get the information and help they need to stay healthy and safe during this unprecedented crisis.

For more information about home visiting programs in the District, reach out to Ruqiyyah Anbar-Shaheen, Director of Early Childhood Policy and Programs.