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Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Human Resources of the Committee on Ways and Means, today announced that the Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the Federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. The hearing will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building.
In view of the limited time available to hear from witnesses, oral testimony at this hearing will be from invited witnesses only. Witnesses will include practitioners involved in providing home visiting services, a former recipient of these services, and experts on the effectiveness of home visiting programs. However, any individual or organization not scheduled for an oral appearance may submit a written statement for consideration by the Committee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing.
In announcing the hearing, Chairman Reichert stated, “We all know it’s better to prevent a problem than to try and correct it after things have gone wrong. Yet in many cases, the federal government does just that by only attempting to treat problems instead of focusing on prevention. One of the goals of the new federal home visiting program is to help families and children before problems arise. With the reauthorization of that program pending, it’s time to review whether it is really making that hoped-for difference. I look forward to hearing more about how home visiting programs are working, how we can ensure we’re investing in what really works, and whether we’re getting the quality results that at-risk children and families deserve and taxpayers expect.”
Home visiting programs have operated for many years, delivering services to expectant and new mothers designed to improve a variety of outcomes and using a mix of public and private resources. One of the most successful approaches has involved a trained nurse who visits a parent and child in their home on a frequent basis to provide ongoing services to the family. However, many different types of home visiting programs exist, and these programs may focus on improving child development, increasing parenting skills, reducing the likelihood of child abuse or neglect, or increasing economic wellbeing.
Begun in 2010, the Federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) was designed to strengthen existing maternal and child health programs, provide services to improve outcomes for families in at-risk communities, and better coordinate services in communities. Under the MIECHV program, at-risk communities are identified through statewide assessments examining areas with concentrations of poor child health outcomes and other difficulties such as high poverty, crime, or unemployment. States then specify how they will serve these communities using an evidence-based home visiting model, and funding is provided based on each state’s proportion of preschool children in families with income below the poverty level. While the bulk of program funding must be used to provide services through home visiting models with evidence of effectiveness as determined by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), up to 25 percent of total funding can be used to fund promising, but still unproven, approaches. Funding for the MIECHV program in FY 2014 is $400 million. The program’s current authorization expires at the end of FY 2014. The Administration’s FY 2015 budget calls for the program’s reauthorization as well as a total of $15 billion in funding over the next 10 years.
FOCUS OF THE HEARING:
This hearing will focus on the MIECHV program, including what is known about whether services funded by the program have improved outcomes for young children and their parents and how Congress can determine whether spending on such services can produce the best results for at-risk families.
DETAILS FOR SUBMISSION OF WRITTEN COMMENTS:
Please Note: Any person(s) and/or organization(s) wishing to submit for the hearing record must follow the appropriate link on the hearing page of the Committee website and complete the informational forms. From the Committee homepage, http://waysandmeans.house.gov, select “Hearings.” Select the hearing for which you would like to submit, and click on the link entitled, “Please click here to submit a statement or letter for the record.” Once you have followed the online instructions, submit all requested information. Attach your submission as a Word document, in compliance with the formatting requirements listed below, by April 16, 2014. Finally, please note that due to the change in House mail policy, the U.S. Capitol Police will refuse sealed-package deliveries to all House Office Buildings. For questions, or if you encounter technical problems, please call (202) 225-1721 or (202) 225-3625.
The Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record. As always, submissions will be included in the record according to the discretion of the Committee. The Committee will not alter the content of your submission, but we reserve the right to format it according to our guidelines. Any submission provided to the Committee by a witness, any supplementary materials submitted for the printed record, and any written comments in response to a request for written comments must conform to the guidelines listed below. Any submission or supplementary item not in compliance with these guidelines will not be printed, but will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.
- All submissions and supplementary materials must be provided in Word format and MUST NOT exceed a total of 10 pages, including attachments. Witnesses and submitters are advised that the Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record.
- Copies of whole documents submitted as exhibit material will not be accepted for printing. Instead, exhibit material should be referenced and quoted or paraphrased. All exhibit material not meeting these specifications will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.
- All submissions must include a list of all clients, persons, and/or organizations on whose behalf the witness appears. A supplemental sheet must accompany each submission listing the name, company, address, telephone, and fax numbers of each witness.
The Committee seeks to make its facilities accessible to persons with disabilities. If you are in need of special accommodations, please call 202-225-1721 or 202-226-3411 TTD/TTY in advance of the event (four business days notice is requested). Questions with regard to special accommodation needs in general (including availability of Committee materials in alternative formats) may be directed to the Committee as noted above.
Note: All Committee advisories and news releases are available online at http://www.waysandmeans.house.gov/.