ACTION ALERT

HEROES Act

May 19, 2020
 We hope this finds you healthy and well. We are writing to share some exciting and promising news related to the inclusion of resources and flexibility for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program in the federal response efforts to COVID-19, as well as to ask you to reach out to your senators in support of these resources and flexibility.
 
On May 12, the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled a $3 trillion proposal to continue and augment the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are thrilled to report that the home visiting community’s request for $100 million in emergency funding and increased flexibility was included in the House bill!  Thank you for all of your work to help successfully advocate for these provisions! Specifically, the House bill’s key provisions related to MIECHV consist of:
 Codifying in law that virtual home visits count as “home” visits through January 2021;

  • Preventing a reduction in staffing or funding for programs based on reductions in program enrollment; and

  • Providing $100 million in supplemental funding to support the following activities:

    • Training home visitors on virtual home visits and emergency preparedness and response planning for families;

    • Providing technology to families to facilitate virtual home visits;

    • Providing emergency supplies to families, such as diapers, formula, non-perishable food, water, hand soap, and hand sanitizer; and

    • Providing prepaid debit cards to families to help them meet emergency needs

 
Together, these updates represent an opportunity to appropriately resource and adapt the MIECHV program to fit the changing circumstances of how you serve families during the pandemic. Thank you for your ongoing advocacy to communicate this important need to policymakers!
 
This proposal represents an important commitment to MIECHV, but the work is far from over. In order to enact these important policies into law and provide these funds to MIECHV programs, both chambers of Congress will need to reach a final bipartisan agreement.


In order to ensure the increased home visiting funding and flexibility make it to the finish line and are incorporated into a final bill, we are asking home visiting supporters to contact your s enators and request that they support the MIECHV provisions that were included in the House bill when the next COVID-19 relief bill comes up for a vote in the Senate. 
  
Here is what you can do in four easy steps:
Step One:
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATORS.  Call the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask them to connect you directly with your senator. 
 
Step Two:
Introduce yourself, and let them know that you are a constituent of the senator and that you very much appreciate his or her time.
 
Step Three:
Here are three key talking points to tell your senator or his/her staff when you call:

  1. Home visiting services are vital to maintain in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Families need the family supports and connections home visiting provides now more than ever.

  2. In any additional COVID-19 legislation, please support funding and flexibility for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program, including allowing virtual home visits to count as home visits, maintaining existing staffing and funding, and $100 million in additional funding for technology improvements and emergency supplies and needs for families.

  3. Thank you for your commitment to children and families!

Step Four:
Contact your senator via email using the language below. Also, free free to add any compelling personal stories and experiences. Please use this link to find your senator’s email and phone contact information.
 
Dear Senator _____,
 
Home visiting services are vital to maintain in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, and families need the family supports and connections home visiting provides now more than ever.
 
In any additional COVID-19 legislation, please support funding and flexibility for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program that were included in H.R. 6800:

  • Allowing virtual home visits to count as home visits through January 2021;

  • Preventing a reduction in staffing or funding for programs based on reductions in program enrollment; and

  • Providing $100 million in supplemental funding for the MIECHV program that can support the following activities:

    • Training home visitors on virtual home visits and emergency preparedness and response planning for families;

    • Providing technology to families to facilitate virtual home visits;

    • Providing emergency supplies to families, such as diapers, formula, non-perishable food, water, hand soap, and hand sanitizer; and

    • Providing prepaid debit cards to families to help them meet emergency needs.

Thank you for your commitment to children and their families. Over the next few weeks the coalition and its members will be working with the Senate to seek similar language in any bill they may introduce.

Sincerely,
 
 Please follow @HVWorks on Twitter and visit our website for ongoing updates to home visiting. Thank you for everything you do to help families, and for your continued advocacy for the MIECHV program!  Thank you for all the work you do on the ground every day in support of children and families. 
 
Sincerely,
The State and Local Engagement Committee Co-Chairs  
 
David Simon                                                               Averi Pakulis              
Healthy Families America                                      First Focus on Children
Dsimon@preventchildabuse.org                        Averip@firstfocus.org
           
On behalf of the National Home Visiting Coalition Steering Committee


 

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Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) USA  has equipped parents with skills, tools, and confidence to prepare their children for success in school in their most important role as their child's first teacher.

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