The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently announced $7,784,751 in funding to Arkansas through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program. These grant funds allow the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) to continue to provide home visiting services to women during pregnancy and to parents with young children up to kindergarten entry.  

Administered by HRSA in close partnership with the Administration for Children and Families, the MIECHV Program supports pregnant women and families, particularly those considered at-risk, as they raise children who are physically, socially and emotionally healthy and ready to succeed.

“Home visiting can be a real game-changer,” said Bradley Planey, Family Health Branch Chief and Home Visiting Project Director at ADH. “The programs work to improve children’s health, development, and school readiness. They also support families with health screenings, referrals to resources, parenting advice, and guidance in many other areas of family life. This can mean a big difference in the life of the child and family.”  

The ADH implements the Nurse-Family Partnership program in Arkansas, and also partners with Arkansas Children’s Hospital to carry out four other MIECHV-funded programs: Healthy Families America, HIPPY, Parents as Teachers, and a promising home visiting approach called Following Baby Back Home. Families in 55 counties are served by the MIECHV grant through 27 local managing agencies and seven of ADH’s local health units. 

In 2017, Arkansas’s MIECHV programs served 4,982 participants in 2,492 households and Arkansas’s federally-funded home visitors provided 31,228 home visits.  In 2017, 90.5% of households served by Arkansas’s MIECHV Program were low income, 34.7% had someone with low student achievement, and 27.5% included a child with developmental delays or disabilities.  

Nationally, the MIECHV Program serves almost 42% of U.S. counties with high rates of low birth weight infants, teen births, families living in poverty or infant mortality.  In 2017, MIECHV Programs provided over 943,000 home visits, serving more than 156,000 parents and children in 80,000 families.  Almost three-fourths of families participating in the program had household incomes at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level. 

“Evidence-based home visiting programs help parents improve their family’s health and provide better opportunities for children,” said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, MS, Ph.D. “These awards allow states to support local agencies in providing tailored home visiting services, meeting the specific needs of families in their own communities.” 

For more information on the home visiting programs in Arkansas, visit https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/home-visiting-programs

For more information on HRSA's Home Visiting Program, visit https://mchb.hrsa.gov/maternal-child-health-initiatives/home-visiting-overview.

For a list of awardees, visit https://mchb.hrsa.gov/maternal-child-health-initiatives/home-visiting/fy18-home-visiting-awards.