Categorized | Health

State receives $3.14M for services focused on child health and development

MEDIA RELEASE

The Maternal and Child Health Branch of the State Department of Health (DOH) has received a $3.14 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for nurses, social workers, or other professionals to meet with at-risk families in their homes, evaluate the families’ circumstances, and connect families to the kinds of help that can make a real difference in a child’s health, development, and ability to learn.

The DOH currently funds two home visiting programs that provide services to 295 children in the areas of Hilo/Puna on the Big Island of Hawai‘i and Ewa/Waianae on O‘ahu. The new federal grant will expand services to all counties by 2014 by providing government support to existing privately-funded programs to increase their capacity — potentially supporting 4,000 additional young children in Hawai‘i.

“This new federal grant will increase and enhance home visiting services for our keiki from birth to three years of age, at a time when they and their families are most vulnerable and in need of support,” said Health Director Loretta Fuddy. “Addressing the needs of our youngest children is the best investment we can make for a strong and healthy state.”

Hawai‘i was one of only 13 states to receive a grant from the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program of HHS among the 49 states competing for the funding.

Successful home visiting programs are multi-faceted, providing services in the health, child protection, early education, and social services arenas based on a holistic assessment of what families may or may not need. These services promote maternal, infant, and early childhood health, safety and development by supporting strong parent-child relationships, and teaching responsible parenting. Home visiting programs also can reduce child abuse and increase rates of parental employment.

Hawaii’s home visiting project is administered through the Maternal and Child Health Branch of DOH, which oversees a statewide system of services to reduce health disparities for women, children, and families. The Maternal and Child Health Branch provides services for women and children which includes contracting for health services for prenatal care, family planning, domestic violence, and child health.

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