Washington state has won another federal grant competition, this time earning an $11.5 million award to continue its nationally recognized home visiting work.
The federal Department of Health and Human Services announced Washington’s award as part of a $386 million set of state grants under the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.
The state will spend the money to support work by 19 groups already engaged in home visiting in both rural and urban areas that serve approximately 1,300 families. In addition, Washington will invest the money in professional development and to connect more families to services.
The award highlights Washington’s role as national leader in the development of proven home visiting services, which reduces abuse and neglect in high-risk families. Last month, the governor’s Results Washington initiative reported that the state’s home visiting program exceeded the goals it set for the program to serve more families. The new grant builds on a $25 million federal grant the state won in 2012.
Washington grant writers impressed the federal agency because grant amounts were largely based on the quality of an application and $9.4 million of state’s $11.5 million came under that competitive process.
“We are reaching more families with a home visiting system that we can all be proud of,” Bette Hyde, director of the state’s Department of Early Learning (DEL) said. “Home visiting leads to stronger families, more successful schools, more self-reliant adults and safer communities.”
Under Washington’s home visiting approach, the federal grant will be placed in the state’s Home Visiting Services Account, which Thrive Washington runs, and support home visiting work through 2017. As Washington’s home visiting network has expanded, it has become a central element of the state’s early learning system because it helps new families get a healthy start.
“Our unique partnership with DEL ensures that that money is well spent on the highest quality services for as many families as possible,” said Thrive Washington president and CEO Sam Whiting.