State announces $7.5 million in grants to aid home visits for families
Efforts focus on array of health, development outcomes for communities
Baltimore, MD (October 18, 2017) -  The Maryland Department of Health announced today $7,450,938 in funding from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration for Maryland’s Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. These funds will allow Maryland to continue to provide voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services to women during pregnancy, and to parents with young children up to kindergarten entry.
“Evidence-based home visiting programs help children get off to a better, healthier start,” said Dr. Jinlene Chan, acting deputy secretary for the Public Health Services Administration. “Today’s award enables the Department of Health to support local agencies in providing home visiting services that meet the needs of Maryland families residing in at-risk communities.”
The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program gives pregnant women and families, particularly those considered at-risk, necessary resources and skills to raise children who are physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to learn. It is a voluntary family support program driven by referrals from providers, hospitals, local health departments and community organizations, among others. Through home visit education, case management and referrals, the program aims to improve outcomes in the areas of well-child visits, postpartum care, tobacco cessation, safe sleep, child injury, early language and literacy, parent-child interactions, behavioral concerns, and intimate partner violence, among others.
A comprehensive needs assessment was completed by Maryland to identify high-risk communities throughout the state. The needs assessment reviewed indicators that put children and families at risk, including premature birth, infant mortality, prenatal care, poverty, crime, employment, and substance abuse, among others. Those identified jurisdictions include Baltimore City, and Allegany, Baltimore, Caroline, Dorchester, Harford, Prince George's, Somerset, Washington and Wicomico counties. 

The new round of funding will build program capacity in communities to:
  1. Improve maternal, infant, and early childhood health by intervening with high-risk mothers as early during pregnancy as possible;
  2. Improve family mental health through early identification;
  3. Expand availability of evidence based home visiting services through funding, implementation support, training, and technical assistance for grantees; 
  4. Strengthen infrastructure to improve programs and activities for families receiving home visiting services; and
  5. Ensure integration of Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program and other evidence based home visiting programs with other systems supporting childhood growth and development such as the State’s early childhood system of care and medical homes.
Through federal grants from the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, in fiscal year 2016, home visitors in Maryland: 
  • Made 15,280 home visits;
  • Served 1,332 families and 1,055 children; and
  • Enrolled 902 new parents and children to the program.
Additional information on Maryland’s Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program can be found here.
Nationwide, $342 million in funding was awarded to 55 states, territories, and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the Health Resources and Services Administration Home Visiting Program, click here. For a full list of awardees, visit their website.