NEWS RELEASE: DOH receives $3.9 million federal grant for home visiting program to support families

Posted on Oct 5, 2018 in Latest News

HONOLULU — One way to ensure keiki have a good start in life is to ensure families have access to a wide range of resources and supports while raising their children. Having trained home visitors support new parents and families has been proven to improve the health of mothers and their children, encourage positive parenting, and promote child development and school readiness.

The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) received a $3.9 million Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant over a two-year period to continue its proactive, voluntary, preventive home visiting program. The grant period began Oct. 1, 2018 and continues through Sept. 29, 2020. HRSA awarded a total of about $361 million to 56 states, territories, and nonprofit organizations for its Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.

“Hawai‘i’s home visiting program offers pregnant women and families additional tools to help children be physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and ready to learn,” said Matthew Shim, chief of the Department of Health’s Family Health Services Division. “We continue to tailor our home visiting program to meet the needs of families throughout the state.”

With the new grant, the Department of Health projects that over a two-year period, it will reach more than 1,700 participants through the home visiting program, including 870 parents/guardians and 830 children in 870 households.

The Hawai‘i Department of Health previously received a $3.5 million, two-year HRSA grant in 2017. According to the most recent available data, the health department used that grant to conduct nearly 11,000 home visits statewide, reaching 128 pregnant women, 712 parents/guardians and 801 children in 840 households in a year. More than half—or about 52 percent—of those home visits were on O‘ahu; Hawai‘i island was the second largest beneficiary at about 21 percent of the total home visits, followed by Maui with 10 percent. Moloka‘i, Lana‘i and Kaua‘i, each ranged from 4 percent to 7 percent of total home visits.

Administered by HRSA, in close partnership with the Administration for Children and Families, the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program supports voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services for women during pregnancy, and to parents with children up to kindergarten entry. The Program reaches those most in need, serving communities with high rates of poor birth outcomes or poverty. In the last federal fiscal year ending September 2018, almost 75 percent of families participating in the program had household incomes at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level. In Hawai‘i’s home visiting program, about 78 percent of Hawai‘i households were low income.
For more information on the home visiting program or to enroll as a participant, visit the Your Ohana website at http://www.yourohana.org.

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