Time is nearing for Congress to reauthorize the maternal, infant and early childhood home visiting (MIECHV) program. The MIECHV program supports families with millions of home visits that strengthen families and communities across the United States. Without reauthorization, these necessary services will be cut for families in need and programs will be unable to reach more families. Children First, Inc.’s SafeCare Home Visiting coordinator, Mary Joyce recently traveled to Washington D.C. with the Home Visiting Coalition to learn how to encourage Congress to extend the MIECHV program for five years with incremental funding increases until the program reaches the funding level of $800 million per year to ensure stability for families, effectiveness of programs, and expansion of resources.
Mary spent three days in D.C. filled with advocacy training, a Seeding Success event and meeting with our community’s legislators. She even had the opportunity for a behind the scene tour of the Capital! Mary chronicled her time in D.C. stating that the attendees were both Home Visitors and Parent Advocates - parents who benefitted from home visiting. A marketing company discussed how to tell your story effectively, how to do a TV interview and how to lobby. Through her lobby training, Mary now understands how to meet someone on their values and get something everyone wants when speaking with our senators and representatives. For example, everyone wants children to benefit positively. Home visiting and SafeCare are a cost-effective way to improve the lives of children and families with a $20 benefit for every dollar spent. This is a great way to connect with fiscal conservatives on this topic.
Mary’s key takeaways:
How can you get involved with home visiting?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.