The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today that West Virginia will receive approximately 6 million dollars for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.
The project originally launched in 2010. It currently serves every state in the union, as well as some territories and the District of Columbia. The goal is to help at-risk parents and families improve child and maternal health, prevent child abuse and neglect, and promote school readiness.
The program is voluntary. Participants opt to receive home visits from nurses, social workers and child development professionals who provide things like breastfeeding support. They also work with moms who want to continue education, help find childcare solutions and support preventative health practices.
In 2018, the program served more than 150,000 families nationwide. Of those, 71 percent lived below the federal poverty line.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from Marshall Health and Charleston Area Medical Center.