Effort by state lawmakers to direct taxpayer dollars toward evidence-based polices that promote healthy families will help build more effective programs
WASHINGTON, June 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Michigan took steps recently to strengthen its $21 million investment in home visiting as Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed HB 4526 into law, demonstrating policymakers' commitment to supporting programs that are proven to work.
The new law requires that 50 percent of current spending on home visiting be directed toward evidence-based and promising programs. It also provides $1.5 million in funding to the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), an evidence-based prevention program that has been shown to return up to $5.70 for every tax dollar invested.
State senators John Moolenaar (R-Midland, District 36) and Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton, District 20) led efforts in the Michigan Senate to ensure that the Department of Community Health portion of the budget directed tax dollars toward evidence-based and promising programs. State representatives Joan Bauer (D-Lansing, District 68) and Matt Lori (R-Constantine, District 59) supported those efforts in the House. The policy enjoyed strong bipartisan support from both chambers.
"At a time when so many states are wrestling with tough budget decisions, it's encouraging to see legislators like Senators Moolenaar and Schuitmaker championing the use of evidence to make effective policy decisions," said Libby Doggett, director of the Pew Home Visiting Campaign. "We also thank Representatives Bauer and Lori for their leadership and significant support on this important issue."
Michigan's support for home visiting is especially critical, given that the number of confirmed victims of child abuse and neglect in the state rose 16 percent between 2000 and 2008, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count Data Book 2009, a profile of the status of children on a national and state-by-state basis.
Nurse-Family Partnership programs use registered nurses to conduct voluntary home visits with first-time, low-income mothers to improve pregnancy health and outcomes, child health, growth and development, and family economic self-sufficiency. NFP has been shown in randomized controlled trial studies to reduce instances of child abuse and neglect. In one study, children by the age of two were 35 percent less likely to end up in the emergency room and 40 percent less likely to need treatment for injuries and accidents.
The Pew Home Visiting Campaign promotes and advances smart state and federal policies and investments in high-quality, home-based programs for new and expectant families. In 2010, the initiative developed a Home Visiting Inventory, which provides state leaders, agency administrators and program directors with a state-by-state and national snapshot of home visiting programs, models and funding.
For more information on Pew's Home Visiting Campaign, click www.pewcenteronthestates.org/homevisiting.
The Pew Center on the States is a division of The Pew Charitable Trusts that identifies and advances effective solutions to critical issues facing states. Pew is a nonprofit organization that applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life. www.pewcenteronthestates.org
SOURCE Pew Center on the States