Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Guttmacher Institute Examines Benefits of Home Visiting Programs
Guttmacher Institute news release: Home Visiting Programs Touted by Obama Administration Improve Health and Well-Being of Both Women and Children:Programs Have Attracted Attention as Part of Health Care Reform and President’s “Common Ground” Initiative Around Abortion
Home visiting programs that would be significantly expanded under a new initiative proposed by the Obama administration have demonstrated modest but important benefits for children and significant benefits for women, according to a new policy analysis published in the Summer 2009 issue of the Guttmacher Policy Review. Home visiting programs pair new families—particularly low-income, single-parent ones—with trained professionals who provide parenting information, resources and support throughout a child’s first few years.
“Home visiting programs have gained some real and well-deserved traction, especially with the Obama administration’s request for $8.6 billion over the next 10 years,” says Heather Boonstra, author of the policy analysis. “The current health care reform effort could well be the vehicle to secure funding for the program, as home visiting provisions have a good chance of being included if and when reform legislation is enacted.”
The administration’s initiative would support programs that have undergone rigorous evaluation, as well as those that have demonstrated promise in improving the lives of children, women and families. A variety of home visiting programs are operating across the United States, and various models have been shown to improve both the health and well-being of children, particularly by reducing child abuse and neglect, and the sexual and reproductive health of women by promoting pregnancy planning. . . .