Tag Archive: home visiting

  1. When Families Work, Everything Works Better- A Two-Generation Approach

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    A two-generation approach to address poverty, income and employment is called for in a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach. The two-generation approach could benefit more than 200,000 young children in Virginia who live in families with no full-time, year-round employment. The strategies highlighted in the KIDS COUNT® policy report propose integrating state and federal employment, education and child care programs to create better opportunities for the entire family.

    Virginia’s previous success with this approach is highlighted through the example of the Comprehensive Health Improvement Project (CHIP) home visiting program. CHIP sites across Virginia connect families with infants and toddlers to build important skills, such as creating routines, managing their families and bolstering their children’s health — all of which smooth parents’ path to employment. The two-generation services offered by CHIP led to a 40 percent increase in employment among participating families.

    “Home visiting works to get families working,” said Lisa Specter-Dunaway, CEO of CHIP of Virginia. “And when families work, everything else works better.”

    The report calls for comprehensive and collaborative approaches to align policies that benefit both children and families, especially those at-risk families with limited employment and educational options. The three recommendations of the report—creating policies to help children and parents, structuring systems to serve families and using existing programs to build evidence for pathways out of poverty- fall within the purview of the recently formed Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success. This Council will make recommendations seeking to shape Virginia’s policies around early childhood development and will review how Virginia’s systems are poised to meet the needs of families with young children.

    Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, chair of the Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success, said, “It is past time for Virginia to put every effort towards strengthening our early childhood system. The Council is working to develop recommendations focused on creating better policy and structuring our systems to lift up economically disadvantaged families with young children.”

    The report was featured by Virginia News Connection on November 12, 2014.

  2. Unified ECE Legislative Agenda- Meet Virginia’s Workforce of 2025

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    Our future rests on these shoulders. While you may see a five year old above, in just 15 years, he will be entering Virginia’s workforce. The opportunity to put him on a path towards success right now and will pay off when he enters the workforce later.

    Voices joins with 12 other organizations representing young children and their families in defining an Early Care and Education Legislative Agenda. This agenda demonstrates how investing in young children will lead to more prepared workforce. The organizations supporting this agenda represent a unified voice among children’s advocates to support opportunities that have demonstrated success.

    Two priorities top of the 2013 Agenda:

    1. Restoring funding to evidenced based home visiting services, CHIP/Parents as Teachers and Healthy Families to pre-recession levels.

    2. Funding the budget shortfall in early intervention services to ensure that young children  with developmental delays reach their full potential.

    In addition to these priorities, we hope the legislature will support access to child care for working families, continuing to expand the Virginia Preschool Initiative and support regional coalitions through the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation.

    Members of the Early Childhood Policy Action Network include:

    Child Care Aware Virginia

    Child Development Resources

    CHIP of Virginia/Parents As Teachers

    Just Children/Legal Aid Justice Center

    Prevent Child Abuse Virginia/Healthy Families Virginia

    Smart Beginnings Historic Triangle

    Virginia Alliance of Family Child Care Providers

    Virginia Association of Community Services Boards

    Virginia Association for Early Childhood Education (VAECE)

    Virginia Association for Infant Mental Health (VAIMH)

    Virginia Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

    Virginia Head Start Association


  3. Support for Healthy Families

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    Campaign Coordinator Margaret Nimmo Crowe is now a contributor to Pundits’ Podium, a new blog by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.  One entry, about the importance of funding for Healthy Families, a home visiting program, ran in the paper on 3-22-12. You can follow Pundits’ Podium by clicking here.

    There’s a lot at stake for Virginia’s vulnerable children and their families in the budget that is currently being negotiated by Virginia’s legislators. You have to dig a little deeper in the budget and beyond the issues typically covered by the media to find some of the potential cuts that put kids at risk.

    Here’s one: the Governor’s budget cut funding for Healthy Families Virginia, a home visiting program with an impressive track record of reducing the rates of child abuse and neglect. Healthy Families works by providing locally-run prevention programs that enroll families with expectant or new parents to help improve birth outcomes, provide parenting education and increase the health of the child.

    Only the Senate’s budget (passed by the Finance Committee but not the full Senate) restored those cuts. At this point, the decision to fund this program — and all other budget matters — rests in the hands of the House and Senate budget conferees.

    With our economy still struggling, now is not the time to cut back on assistance to vulnerable families with young children. A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics compared the unemployment statistics from 1990 to 2008 to national data about child maltreatment, finding that “each 1% increase in unemployment was associated with a .50 child per 1000 increase in confirmed cases of child maltreatment…AAP noted the U.S. was experiencing a major crisis because unemployment has risen from 4.5% in 2007 to the then current level of over 8.9%. Moreover, since the long-term impacts of child maltreatment include higher rates of unemployment and poverty, we can see how a vicious cycle is created and maintained.” (From The State Of Child Abuse Prevention In The Commonwealth, Prevent Child Abuse Virginia, Prepared by Joseph Galano, Ph.D., Applied Social Psychology Research Institute, College of William & Mary and Lee Huntington, Ph.D., Huntington Associates, LTD)

    Let’s hope our legislators don’t forget our most vulnerable Virginians.