Snapshot of Home Visiting in Maryland

Maryland is dedicated to results-driven investments in child and family health. This commitment is reflected through the state’s focus on evidence-based programming. Maryland supports five evidenced-based home visiting programs, including:

     Early Head Start  
 
From these models, community leaders select which is most appropriate for their population to achieve the maternal and child health goals of each particular community.
 
These programs offer a variety of hands on, family centered curriculum, designed to support to families with the goal of healthy outcomes for parents and children. The following four jurisdictional highlights describe how these programs are specifically supported in Maryland.
 
 

Parents as Teachers in Carroll County (PAT)

Carroll County’s PAT Home Visiting Initiative and the concerted efforts of community partners have demonstrated significant results in children ready for kindergarten.  In 2008, Carroll County placed 19th out of 24 jurisdictions with only 64% of the children ready for kindergarten.  Within three years of PAT implementation, Carroll County placed first and second in the State for children being ready for kindergarten, surpassing the Maryland average of 82%.  Since 2011, with the continued work of the PAT initiative, 95% of Carroll County’s kindergarten students continue to be fully ready.
 
Carroll County’s PAT Initiative is interagency by design.  The Carroll County Local Management Board (LMB) provides partial funding to each of the PAT providers: CC Public School/Judy Center, Human Services Program’s Family Center, Catholic Charities Head Start and CC Public Library. Additional LMB funding provides mental health consultations for PAT Educators and participating families. The PAT network is coordinated by the Judy Center and all providers use the same data collection and are monitored by the LMB.  This interagency model assures buy in from the major providers of early childhood development and balances referrals with program availability and capacity.
 

Healthy Families in Montgomery County (HFM)

Family Services, Inc. (FSI) has provided home visiting and comprehensive early childhood services to women and families in Montgomery County for over 18 years.
 
The Healthy Families Montgomery (HFM) program, established in 1996, serves mostly low income first-time parents who have multiple stressors and risk factors for child abuse and neglect. Referred by Montgomery County Health Centers, participating parents are screened for mental health and substance abuse concerns, limited self-sufficiency, and the experience of abuse or neglect as a child. Weekly home visits begin before the baby is born, and continue for at least six months. Families may receive services for three to five years depending on their circumstances and need. Emphasis is placed on health care, child development, school readiness, parenting education, and family self-sufficiency.
 
In FY 14, the program served 123 families. Of the enrolled families, 100% of children had health insurance and/or a healthcare provider, 99% of children had the recommended immunizations, 81% of babies were born at a healthy birth weight, 100% of families improved or maintained their housing security, and 87% of primary caregivers improved their education and/or employment status.
 
HFM’s longstanding success has been recognized through a series of outstanding scores by accreditation experts with Healthy Families America. In 1999, HFM became the first nationally credentialed Healthy Families America site in the State of Maryland. HFM received expedited four-year credentials from Healthy Families America in 2008 and 2012.  The program is built on a solid foundation of research-based best practices and publishes a comprehensive Evaluation Report written by an independent evaluator each year.
 

Early Head Start in Montgomery County (EHS)

Family Services, Inc.s Discovery Station Early Head Start program also began in 1996. FSI is one of three EHS grantees in Montgomery County and provides comprehensive home visiting services for 111 families.  The program supports school readiness and family self-sufficiency. Families must meet the federal income guidelines and priority is given to those with the most risk factors.
 
Comprehensive services include health, mental health, disability screening, nutrition, parent education, child development, social services and parent engagement opportunities. After school tutoring and a summer career and college readiness program are offered to parenting teens. Regular parent engagement activities and bilingual group activities help reduce social isolation and enhance the knowledge and skills needed for healthy child development.
 
The curriculum used for the home-based program is Parents as Teachers, a research-based and nationally recognized curriculum that supports children’s early development and learning. Individualized lesson plans for each child are developed with parent input to support the child’s ongoing development of skills in language development, personal and social development, cognitive development, and physical development. Developmental assessments are conducted to determine if additional support or referrals in the areas of health, mental health and disabilities would be helpful.
 
The program is highly successful in assisting families with access to various health-supporting services. In FY 2014, 20% of the participants in the Discovery Station Early Head Start program received additional early intervention services that are coordinated with the home visiting. 100% of enrolled children are up-to-date on medical exams, 100% of pregnant women received postpartum exams and 80% of children received dental exams. In addition, families are extremely satisfied with the services. 100% of customers say they would recommend Discovery Station to a friend or relative and 99% of customers say the program has made a positive impact on their child and family.
 

Healthy Families in Washington County

Healthy Families Washington (HFW) has been working to improve maternal and child health in the County since 1999. Families eligible for home visiting services are also in need of linkages to other health-sustaining complements such as child care, transportation, health insurance, mental health services and job training. In FY 2014, HFW served 458 families with a heavy emphasis on screening and referring mothers and children to essential supplemental services.
 
Many pregnant women come to HFW with a history of serious trauma and disability that has not been adequately addressed.  To facilitate family health and self-sufficiency, HFW staff invest time and energy in identifying maternal and child needs and empowering families to connect with community resources. In FY 2014, HFW made referrals for 100% of enrolled families.
      Counseling - 19% of families referred
      Public Assistance - 19% of families referred
      Health Care - 9% of families referred
      Employment:
      Training and Education - 8.5% of families referred
      Miscellaneous:
      Legal, Child Development, Nutrition, Daycare, Transportation - 45% of families referred
 
HFW staff are well trained to identify specific risk factors in the families they work with as well as able to connect them to the appropriate resource. Family Support Workers are armed with information on how to identify the needs of families and access the various resources in Washington County.
 
For more information about home visiting in Maryland or the MIECHV grant, please call 410-767-6753.

March 2017

                                                                                                                                                    

Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Links
For more information about this grant, please call 410-767-6753