Reducing Support for Children and Families
On Sept. 28, Tom Reed (R-NY) wrote:
Glad to see HR 2824 (Increasing Opportunity and Success for Children and Parents through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act) pass the House this week! This bill included reauthorizing the Maternal Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program as well as our Standard DATA act. Standard DATA will improve data matching within and across programs, increase administrative efficiency and allow caseworkers to spend more time solving problems. Streamlining government is a good thing for taxpayers.
In an email, dated Sept. 29, Rep. Capuano (D-MA) explains:
On Tuesday the House considered H.R. 2824, “Increasing Opportunity and Success for Children and Parents through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act.” This legislation reauthorizes the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) for five years. Qualified pregnant women and parents of children up to kindergarten age benefit from this initiative which provides home visits by educators, medical staff, social workers and other professionals. The goal is to support young families, help prepare small children for school and improve family health. Unfortunately, the money authorized will only cover 6% of eligible families. H.R. 2824 makes it harder for families to benefit from the MIECHV program.
The legislation also adds some requirements to the program while providing no additional money for implementation. It requires the home visits to include monitoring of employment and family income as well as child safety and development. The problem with this is that the program doesn’t offer any employment counseling or resources for families, and doesn’t add any money to pay for them. H.R. 2824 will also require all states participating in the MIECHV to start matching all funds they receive for MIECHV. This will inevitably lead to a reduction in access in some states which may not have the additional funds to supplement the program. It will also be at risk of funding cuts if states face unanticipated expenses such as a natural disaster.
What a difference in perspective!