When Congress returns in September, there will be fewer than 15 legislative days to reauthorize the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, otherwise known as MIECHV, before it expires. MIECHV-supported home visiting programs
offer families the necessary foundation to develop parenting skills that support children during the early years of their lives. These programs are offered at the local level and are designed to improve maternal and child health, prevent child abuse and neglect, encourage positive parenting, and promote child development and school readiness by pairing families with trained professionals. According to the federal government
, MIECHV has served over 160,000 parents and children in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all five territories in fiscal year 2016. If the program is not reauthorized, thousands of families are at risk for losing these services.
What You Can Do
Talk to Members of Congress in Person
Since members of Congress continue to be back in the states, it is a good opportunity to let them know that you support home visiting programs. Identify your Congressional delegation and check their respective websites for opportunities to meet. Typically, members of Congress will post on their websites if they are hosting town halls, office hours, or other opportunities for formal or informal conversations with constituents. By attending, you can voice your support for home visiting programs. You may have to call their local offices to get information about upcoming opportunities to meet your member of Congress.
Sample talking points:
- Home visiting programs support families.
- A simple knock on the door can help bring much needed support to parents that are experiencing stress.
- As we all know, stress comes in all forms, and it can undermine a parent’s capacity to manage their own well-being and develop healthy, nurturing relationships with their young child.
- Rigorous studies show that home visiting programs reduce child abuse and neglect, supports school readiness, and improves the health and well-being of children.
- Home visiting programs also increases parental self-sufficiency.
- The federal MIECHV program supports local home visiting programs and is set to expire Sept. 30.
- I urge to support the reauthorization of MIECHV for five years with an incremental funding increasing.
Connect with Members of Congress on Social Media
Use the following hashtags to support home visiting: #HomeVisitingWorks, #HomeVisiting, and/or #MIECHV.
Find your members of Congress’ Twitter usernames online and tweet the same message with the Twitter username for each member of your congressional delegation separately. By including your members of Congress’ Twitter usernames in your tweets, you are ensuring that they will receive notifications about the tweets.
- I urge @RepX to support #MIECHV b/c #HomeVisitingWorks for families.
- #HomeVisiting helps build a foundation for families. @SenX support #MIECHV!
- Funding for #MIECHV runs out Sept. 30; hundreds of families are counting on you @RepX. Reauthorize #MIECHV.
Make sure to follow @AlliancePolicy on Twitter so you can like and retweet content in support of home visiting.
Share Your Photos and Stories
Did you know that your stories can influence the policymaking process? Together, we can begin to create a story bank to support our collective public policy advocacy. If you have stories to share with us that highlight the benefits of home visiting, please let us know by emailing the Public Policy and Mobilization Office.
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