Overview of Home Visiting in Maryland

 
Evidence-based home visiting (EBHV) is a voluntary early childhood strategy that can enhance parenting and promote the growth and development of young children. EBHV programs are focused, individualized and culturally competent services for expectant parents, young children and their families. These programs are made available in the home and help families strengthen attachment, provide optimal development for their children, promote health and safety, and reduce the risk for child maltreatment.

Five evidence-based home visiting programs are in use in Maryland:
Nurse-Family Partnership, Healthy Families America, Parents as Teachers, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), and Early Head Start. More can be read about these programs here. Maryland MIECHV supports 18 home visiting sites that utilize two programs: Healthy Families America and Nurse-Family Partnership.
 
Other programs in Maryland, such as Healthy Start in Baltimore City and the Maryland State Department of Education's Infants and Toddlers program, also conduct home visits to provide family support and education focused on the family's needs.
 
State and Federal Funding for Home Visiting in Maryland
Home Visiting receives funding through federal, state and local governments as well as foundation and nonprofit sources. State funding sources include the Department of Human Resources (DHR), the Children’s Cabinet (CC), and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Federal funds for Early Head Start (EHS) home visiting programs are passed through MSDE. The federal MIECHV program is administered through the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), and has played an increasing important role in expanding home visiting services throughout Maryland’s highest need communities since 2010.
 
Federal MIECHV funds support about one third of the home visiting programs in Maryland. State funding agencies include the Department of Human Resources, the Children’s Cabinet and the Maryland State Department of Education. The various home visiting funders target overlapping maternal and child indicators, including prenatal care, infant mortality, childhood immunizations, child abuse and neglect, and school readiness.
 
Maryland’s Comprehensive State Plan for Home Visiting
In 2010, Maryland MIECHV developed a Comprehensive State Plan for home visiting. Each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions created a plan specific to their at-risk communities. This local jurisdictional information identified gaps in services and assisted in meeting the needs specific to each local community.
 
The State Plan calls for Maryland to address capacity and gaps for providing home visiting services in every jurisdiction. As funding becomes available, momentum of assisting families at risk will continue in a seamless and coordinated fashion. Currently, the total capacity of Maryland’s home visiting programs is enough to serve only a small percentage of interested at-risk families.
In addition, home visiting goals, objectives and activities are blended into several Maryland state initiatives including the Early Childhood Advisory Council and the Race to the Top: Early Learning Challenge Grant.
 
Maryland Home Visiting Accountability Act
The Home Visiting Accountability Act of 2012 articulates new requirements of Maryland’s home visiting programs to utilize evidence-based models and statewide data collection. The Maryland Department of Health's (MDH) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) was appointed as the administering agency on behalf of the Children's Cabinet. The Children’s Cabinet coordinates Maryland’s child- and family-focused service delivery system by emphasizing prevention, early intervention, and community-based services for all children and families. The Cabinet approves federal applications before they are submitted by MCHB.  The MDH manages the program because of MIECHV’s close link to the federal Maternal and Child Health Block Grant and other federal Maternal and Child Health programs. MDH provides periodic updates to the Children's Cabinet.
 
Current Activities

     Management of and/or support for Early Childhood programs including the the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program and Project LAUNCH (early childhood mental health).
 
     Administration of programs to promote adolescent health and prevent teen pregnancies including the Maryland Abstinence Education Program and the Maryland Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP).
 
     Oversight of the child and adolescent health components of the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Program.
 
     Coordination of  planning and needs assessment activities under the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Program.
 
     Partnering with state agencies and DHMH programs to foster child and adolescent health.
 
Funding Source and Indicators
     Department of Human Resources (DHR)
      Child abuse, out-of-home placements.
 
     Children’s Cabinet (CC) Interagency Fund
      Childhood immunizations, child abuse and neglect, healthy birth-weight babies.
 
     Federal MIECHV
      Prenatal care, parental substance abuse, preconception care, inter-birth intervals, mental health screening, breastfeeding, well-child visits, maternal-child insurance status, child abuse and neglect, intimate partner violence screening, and school readiness.
 
     Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)
      Infant mortality, healthy birth-weight, childhood immunizations, school readiness, child abuse and neglect.
 
For more information about home visiting in Maryland or the MIECHV grant, please call 410-767-6753.
 
June 2017
Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Links
For more information about this grant, please call 410-767-6753