Boustany and Reichert Introduce Bill Extending Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home...

Boustany and Reichert Introduce Bill Extending Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program

Washington, DC – March 17, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Representative Charles Boustany (R-LA) and Representative Dave Reichert (R-WA) released the following statement after introducing the Home Visiting Extension Act of 2015 extending the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program through the end of the fiscal year.

Boustany and Reichert said: “Today, we introduced the Home Visiting Extension Act of 2015, to extend the authorization for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) through September 30 of this year.

“This bill addresses an issue that isn’t addressed enough in Congress—the importance of using evidence to figure out what works to reduce poverty in America.

“This bill continues the bipartisan and bicameral support for this program by preventing its expiration at the end of the month and ensuring it continues through this fiscal year at the same funding level as last year.

“At its core, this program is designed to improve outcomes for children and families — especially those children who face the greatest risk of abuse and neglect.

“By funding locally-managed, state-selected models based on evidence, this program offers help to parents with young children in order to improve outcomes for kids—including by improving children’s health, preventing child abuse and neglect, improving school readiness, and increasing a family’s ability to be self-sufficient.

“The young families served by this program live in communities with concentrations of poverty, crime, substance abuse, and other factors that can have a substantial negative impact on the lives of these young children.

“Home visiting professionals address these problems head-on — visiting these mothers in their homes to give them the advice, guidance, and the help they need to make sure their children are given the best starting point in life—a desire any parent knows well.

“Home visiting programs have been operating for decades, but the effectiveness of past efforts has been unknown. That’s why this program includes strong standards of evidence so only home visiting models that meet certain standards receive funding, as well as a strong evaluation component so we can find out whether these programs are actually working as intended.

“We have also both called for hearings on this issue—Chairman Reichert held one in July of 2013, and Chairman Boustany will hold one on March 17th—focused on how the federal government can better use evidence to help low-income individuals and families get ahead, as we both agree we need to evaluate more programs to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

“The MIECHV program uses evidence-based models to achieve real results, and this is an approach we should take with more social programs across the federal government to determine whether they actually work.

“The MIECHV program was designed based on evidence, and it is currently being evaluated to see whether it’s working as intended. We need to make sure more of our federal programs operate this way, and we look forward to working with our Democrat and Republican colleagues to do just that.”

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