R.I. receives $5.8M grant to fund family health home visiting
THE MATERNAL, INFANT AND EARLY Childhood Home Visiting Program in Rhode Island, under the leadership of the R.I. Department of Health, has received $5.8 million to expand its programs for at-risk families with young children.
PROVIDENCE – Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee joined with U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse on Monday to announce that Rhode Island has been awarded $5.8 million for the expansion of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.
Created as part of the Affordable Care Act and administered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the voluntary program helps at-risk families receive home visits from nurses and social workers.
Rhode Island was one of 13 states nationwide to receive federal funding from this competitive round of grants.
“When people make a direct connection through home visits, it’s a win because health outcomes for families improve and children get off to a stronger start,” said Reed in a prepared statement. “By expanding into high-risk areas and adding more front-line workers, these funds will boost child development, school readiness and economic self-sufficiency for more families throughout the state.”
Rhode Island already has received more than $6.26 million through the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program since its creation in 2010 to support evidence-based home visiting in Central Falls, Newport, Pawtucket, Providence, West Warwick and Woonsocket.
In addition to improving child health and development, the program also provides families with information and services such as health care, early education, parenting skills, child abuse prevention and nutrition.
“This funding will help mothers and children get access to vital in-home health services, and is another example of how the Affordable Care Act is making a difference for Rhode Island families,” said Whitehouse in a statement. “I’m proud of the work our state has done to be a leader in health care.”
Chafee said that the new $5.8 million grant will allow the state to “focus on vital early-intervention services to the state’s youngest children and their families in the cities and towns that need it the most.”
Under the leadership of the R.I. Department of Health, the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program in Rhode Island now funds four separate home visiting programs, all of which are free of charge for families.