HOW WELL THEY END UP DEPENDS ON HOW WELL THEY START OUT.
Take Action this week to support
Maine Families Home Visiting Program
WHAT THEY DO:
The Maine Families Home Visiting Program is part of Maine’s strategy to ensure the healthy development of our children. Because early experiences literally shape the development of the brain, guaranteeing a strong foundation is essential to all the development that follows. Maine’s evidence-based program provides professional home visitors who work with expectant parents and parents of babies and toddlers in families’ homes to ensure safe home environments, promote healthy growth and development for babies and young children, and provide key connections to needed services such as mental health counseling, substance treatment and domestic violence supports.
WHO THEY ARE:
Maine Families is available in every county in Maine and is provided by fifteen contracted health, educational, tribal and community agencies. These programs employ over 140 extensively trained professionals, including social workers, nurses, teachers, and other experts trained in early childhood and parenting.
WHO THEY SERVE:
In FY14, Maine Families provided 22,112 home visits to nearly 2400 families.
We know that Maine Families promotes positive parenting practices, improved family health, and enhances school-readiness.
Maine Families Funding
Current Funding (FY 15): In the current fiscal year, Maine Families programs are supported by three major sources: $1 million of federal formula funding, $2 million from Maine’s General Fund, and $9.2 million from federal “expansion” funding, for a total of $12.2 million.
Changes to Current Funding in Maine: In February of 2015, Maine received notice that we will not receive any federal “expansion” funds nest year, eliminating the 9.2 million for FY 16. This leaves Maine Families with only $3 million – $1 million federal/ $2 million Maine General Fund- a 75% reduction in funding which could result in a corresponding reduction in the number of families who can be served.
Federal Funding: Funding for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) is due to expire at the end of March.
How Can You Help?
Home Visiting Day of Action: – Washington – Tuesday, March 3rd
Funding for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) is due to expire at the end of March. On Tuesday, March 3rd, the Home Visiting Coalition will host a Day of Action to push for an extension of these funds including a Twitter storm from 1:30-2:20 ET using the hash tag #HomeVisiting. You can contact Maine’s congressional delegation via First Focus at: http://campaignforchildren.org/take-action-3/
Home Visiting Day of Action: – Augusta – Friday, March 6
The Appropriations Committee will receive testimony this week on the Health and Human Services budget, including the Maine Families/home visiting program. If you wish to provide testimony on Maine Families/home visiting, (and Head Start, child care, and mental health services for children) you should plan to be at the State House on Friday, March 6 at 1:00pm. If you can’t physically be there, you can still provide your comments via email by sending them to email@example.com and she will forward your comments to the committee members. Or mail your comments to: AFA Committee, 5 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.
Maine Families works by strengthening the foundations for child health and family well-being. And Mainers know you can’t build anything strong on a shaky foundation. We need to work together to find solutions to this loss of funding so that we don’t undermine the futures of children and families throughout our state.
For more information about Maine Families, visit their website at: