Four Programs Share $355,000 to Support Families with Young Children
SEATTLE — Some of Washington’s most vulnerable and at-risk families with young children will receive extra one-on-one support thanks to $355,000 in grants from the state’s new Home Visiting Services Account. Four programs that serve families in five counties will share the funds.
Created during the 2010 legislative session, the Home Visiting Services Account matches public and private dollars to help support and evaluate evidence-based, research-based and promising home visiting programs. Home visiting has been shown to help lessen the effects of poverty and other known risk factors on child development; help reduce child abuse and neglect; and promote school readiness. At the request of the state Department of Early Learning (DEL), Thrive by Five Washington, the state’s nonprofit public-private partnership for early learning, oversees this account.
“Parenting is already tough and stressful, and it’s even more so if you’re living in poverty. If we really want to give young children a great start in life, we need to help strengthen their families,” said Nina Auerbach, president and CEO of Thrive by Five Washington. “Home visiting programs, which often start working with parents before a baby is born and then stay connected through those first few years, have repeatedly shown to make a significant difference.”
To be eligible for a grant, organizations had to show either a need for expansion or, in these challenging economic times, a critical need to sustain the level of service they already offered. They also were required to leverage new grant dollars with other existing funds. Finally, the grant review committee looked for programs that served at-risk populations and communities in the state as determined by a recent state Department of Health Home Visiting Needs Assessment.
Grant awards are as follows:
- Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department — The Nurse Family Partnership program receives $100,000 to provide services to 46-50 families in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood and the south Tacoma and Parkland communities. Services will be directed toward African-American and Pacific Islander low-income, first-time moms. Funds will be leveraged with another $980,000 to serve a total of about 175 families.
- Mason County Public Health Department — The Nurse Family Partnership receives $100,000 to provide services to 20 families. Services will reach Hispanic, American Indian, Alaska Native and non-Hispanic white families in this area. Funds will be leveraged with another $28,000 to serve a total of 25 families.
- West Valley School District — The Parent Child Home Program receives $55,000 to provide services to 45 Hispanic families in the Yakima area. Funds will be leveraged with another $90,000.
- Healthy Start/Friends of Youth &mdash The Parents as Teachers Program receives $100,000 to provide services to 45 Hispanic families in King and Snohomish Counties. Funds will be leveraged with another $652,000 to serve 326 families.
“We are proud to work with our partners at Thrive by Five Washington on the Home Visiting Services Account—it’s yet another example of what a strong public-private partnership can offer to Washington,” said DEL Director Bette Hyde. “Particularly in this tough economic climate, it is critical that we build on evidence-based models, and strategically leverage state and private dollars to maximize the services we deliver to families in our state.”