WASHINGTON, D.C. –(ENEWSPF)–February 19, 2015. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded a $13,415,508 grant to the Illinois Department of Human Services to expand home visiting services to women during pregnancy and to parents with young children. The funds will support HHS’s Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (Home Visiting Program). In 2013, the Illinois Maternal and Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting Grant program (MIECHV) provided 13,050 home visits to 944 children from birth to five years of age.
“Today’s funding is important to Illinois parents and children who rely on these critical home care services during early childhood,” Durbin said. “Expanding this program will help improve the lives of mothers, their children, and families statewide.”
In 2013, only 12 percent of children and 8 percent of mothers visited the emergency room while receiving MIECHV home visiting services. 53 percent of mothers who enrolled in MIECHV prenatally and were identified as using tobacco, alcohol, or drugs decreased their use by 36 weeks gestation.
The Home Visiting Program currently serves approximately one-third of the counties in the country with high rates of the following indicators: low birth weight, teen birth rate, living in poverty and infant mortality rates. More than 1.4 million home visits have been conducted through the national Home Visiting Program, serving parents and children in 721 counties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories. In 2014, the Home Visiting Program served 115,000 parents and children across the nation. Nearly 80 percent of families participating in the program had household incomes at or below the 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.