Home visiting helps parents get their children off to the best possible start in life. But right now, this highly needed service needs your support.
At the end of March, federal funding for home visiting is set to expire without congressional action to extend the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. MIECHV has allowed an additional 1,300 Washington families to receive home visiting services.
Home visiting has strong bipartisan support. President Obama supported expanding and extending MIECHV in his 2016 budget proposal and Congress is poised to extend MIECHV.One member of Congress knows better than most that investing in prevention programs makes a huge difference in later life outcomes. As a former sheriff, Congressman Dave Reichert has been a champion for evidence-based home visiting programs as a tool to break the cycle of poverty and incarceration. At the release of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids recent report “Orange is not your color,” Congressman Reichert remarked, “As a former sheriff I encountered so many young parents who needed guidance and assistance with the challenges of raising children, and I dealt firsthand with the crime and disorder that communities face when kids come from chaotic homes. As a Member of Congress, I strongly support programs like MIECHV that are based on research and results. We need to be doing everything we can to cut crime and save taxpayer dollars by preparing young moms and kids for successful lives.”
Reichert is the former Chairman of the Human Resources Subcommittee of the House Committee on Ways and Means and an important voice for these programs in Congress.
Leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a proposal this week to extend the program, along with an extension of Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP), as part of a bill that addresses a flaw in Medicare payments to doctors. If this proposal doesn’t succeed, Washington would lose critical ground in helping new parents.
Time is running out. Please join the effort to urge Congress to pass this extension of home visiting and children’s health insurance for two more years! Here’s how:
Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your elected officials' offices. When you reach the office, say you are a constituent and you would like to speak to the health legislative assistant. If you are not sure who your representative is, you can look it up here. Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell are Washington’s senators.
Tell these offices that MIECHV and CHIP are important to your community and has helped to expand these valuable services to more high risk populations.