NEW JERSEY – U.S Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), senior member of the Senate Finance Committee that sets national health policy, lauded the temporary extension of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program that was included in the budget deal passed by the Senate Thursday to keep the government running until December 16.
The MIECHV Program provides services to women during pregnancy and to parents with young children.
“Home visits by nurses, social workers, and other professionals during pregnancy and the critical months after have shown to help children and their families have better health, education, and economic outcomes. The MIECHV program provides families and children with the tools and resources to build strong families and healthy communities,” said Menendez, who is the Senate lead of the program. “I’m proud to have secured this temporary extension, which will allow women and children to continue receiving these critical resources. In 2017, I secured a five-year authorization of the program and I am committed to secure an additional five-year reauthorization so that families in New Jersey and across the country can benefit from the life-changing services provided by the MIECHV program.”
Menendez is the Senate champion of the MIECHV program and led the charge for a five-year reauthorization in 2017 to ensure families across the nation continue to receive services from this important program.
In New Jersey, all twenty-one counties are served by this program. In 2020, 5,387 New Jersey families and 9,788 New Jersey children benefited from MIECHV programs with nearly 62,000 home visits.
Menendez secured a provision in the American Rescue Plan that provided an additional $150 million for staffing and servicing for MIECHV programs across the country including $3,659,447 for New Jersey.
The provision also includes expanded flexibility for program operators to use funding to purchase technology needed for virtual home visits, and emergency supplies such as formula, food, water, hand soap and sanitizer, diapers, and prepaid grocery cards.
Through MIECHV, nurses, social workers, or other professionals visit at-risk families in their homes to evaluate their living situations and provide information on resources available to improve the health, educational, and economic opportunities for at-risk children.
Resources include health care, early education, parenting skills, child abuse prevention, and nutrition education or assistance.