What is MIECHV?
The Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program is the main source of federal funding for home visiting in Illinois. MIECHV was designed to expand voluntary, evidence-based home visiting programs across the U.S. and improve the outcomes for pregnant women and families, particularly those considered at-risk. For more information about the federal MIECHV program, please click here and you will be linked to the website of the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), which the federal entity that administers the MIECHV program at the national level.
What are the goals of MIECHV?
The MIECHV program is designed to (1) strengthen and improve the programs and activities carried out under Title V of the Social Security Act; (2) improve coordination of services for at-risk communities; and (3) identify and provide comprehensive services to improve outcomes for families who reside in at-risk communities.
MIECHV includes grants to states and six jurisdictions; and grants to Indian Tribes, Tribal Organizations, and Urban Indian Organizations. The legislation requires that grantees demonstrate improvement among eligible families participating in the program in six benchmark areas:
- Improved maternal and newborn health;
- Prevention of child injuries, child abuse, neglect, or maltreatment, and reduction of emergency department visits;
- Improvement in school readiness and achievement;
- Reduction in crime or domestic violence;
- Improvements in family economic self-sufficiency; and
- Improvements in the coordination and referrals for other community resources and supports.
What Impact has MIECHV funding had in Illinois?
In Illinois, MIECHV has been a vital part of our home visiting system and our broader early childhood system. This is reflected in three main areas:
- Expansion and improvement of direct services – MIECHV funding has been used to fund 13 MIECHV communities throughout the state and for projects that improve provider capacity and quality of services provided to families through:
- Infant Mental Health consultation services; and
- Additional training and professional development to home visiting staff;
- Funding innovations – MIECHV has enabled funding for key innovations and enhancements that improve the home visiting and early childhood systems, such as:
- Pilot projects focused on very high risk families, including pregnant and parenting youth in the child welfare system and homeless families;
- Projects that expand the use of doula services by incorporating doula services into traditional home visiting services; and
- Projects that expand the use of Fussy Baby Network, which provides support for families who have concerns about their baby’s crying, sleeping, feeding or temperament during the first years of life; and
- Promotion of efficiency – MIECHV has enabled better streamlining of services and improved efficiencies through coordinated efforts among agencies within communities and coordinated intake processes.
MIECHV funding has enabled Illinois to build on the existing state investments in home visiting and expand direct services to families. In federal fiscal year 2016, 988 additional families (of which at least 93% were low-income) received a total of 12,296 home visits in English, Spanish and Arabic through MIECHV funding. Click here for a fact sheet regarding federal fiscal year 2016 for MIECHV.
Click here for examples of how MIECHV-funded services have successfully helped young children and families in Illinois. These examples have been compiled by our partners at Children’s Home + Aid.
What are the MIECHV Communities in Illinois?
In the state fiscal year of 2017, the MIECHV grant will fund 34 home visiting and 6 coordinated intake agencies in thirteen pilot communities. The thirteen funded MIECHV community collaborations are:
- Southside Cluster; (Englewood/ West Englewood/ Greater Grand Crossing in Chicago);
- Macon County;
- Vermilion County;
- Austin neighborhood in Chicago;
- North Lawndale neighborhood in Chicago;
- Stephenson/Jo Davies Counties;
- Kankakee County; East St. Louis; and
- Mid-Central Cluster (McLean, Piatt and Dewitt Counties)
For a complete list of agencies and services funded by MIECHV click here.
Community-specific fact sheets area available for the six original MIECHV Communities for fiscal years 2015 and 2016. Click on the fiscal year for the respective community-specific fact sheet:
What Home Visiting Models are funded in Illinois through MIECHV?
MIECHV funds three home visiting models in Illinois:
- Healthy Families America (HFA) goals include reducing child maltreatment, improving parent-child interactions and children’s social-emotional well-being, and promoting children’s school readiness. Local HFA sites select the target population they plan to serve and offer hour-long home visits at least weekly until children are 6 months old, with the possibility for less frequent visits thereafter. Visits begin prenatally or within the first three months after a child’s birth and continue until children are between 3 and 5 years old. In addition, many HFA sites offer parent support groups and father involvement programs. Sites can also develop activities to meet the needs of their specific communities and target populations. For more information, please click here.
- Parents As Teachers (PAT) goal is to provide parents with child development knowledge and parenting support, provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues, prevent child abuse and neglect, and increase children’s school readiness. The PAT model includes one-on-one home visits, monthly group meetings, developmental screenings, and linkages and connections for families to needed resources. Parent educators conduct the home visits using structured visit plans and guided planning tools. Local sites offer at least 12 hour-long home visits annually with more offered to higher-need families. PAT serves families for at least two years between pregnancy and kindergarten. PAT affiliate programs select the target population they plan to serve and the program duration. For more information, please click here.
- Early Head Start (EHS) targets low-income pregnant women and families with children from birth through age 3, most of whom are at or below the federal poverty level or who are eligible for Part C services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in their state. The program provides early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services. EHS programs include home- or center-based services, a combination of home- and center-based programs, and family child care services (services provided in family child care homes). For more information about EHS, please click here.
This website is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number HRSA-16-172 Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program – Formula. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.
It takes a village. Illinois home visiting collaborates with numerous partners in order to support young children and families. These partners include:
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago • Children’s Home + Aid • Easter Seals • Ever Thrive Illinois • Family Focus • Fussy Baby Network at the Erikson Institute • Heartland Alliance • Illinois Action for Children • Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health • Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics • Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership • Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition • Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence • Latino Policy Forum • Metropolitan Family Services • Mothers and Babies Program at Northwestern University • Prevent Child Abuse Illinois • Robert R. McCormick Foundation • Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law • The Irving Harris Foundation • The Ounce of Prevention Fund • Voices for Illinois Children