About 75 percent of Washington’s population is concentrated in a few counties. In the rest of the state — rural and frontier counties with low population density — residents often have longer distances to travel and less local infrastructure, such as hospitals and specialty medical clinics.
In rural communities, it’s just harder to receive some important supports and services. It’s also difficult to create and sustain evidence-based home visiting programs.
We use data to determine regions that could most benefit from home visiting services but currently do not have home visiting programs. It’s also important that services are expanded in a deliberate manner, using data and community expertise to determine local interest, fit and feasibility.
In 2013, Thrive, in collaboration with the Department of Early Learning, launched a collaborative, community-focused effort that resulted in grants for three home visiting programs: one each in Adams, Grays Harbor and Okanogan counties.
Early results of that project:
- Expanded services
- Consumer-informed program design
- Strong implementing agencies
- Engaged community recruitment and referral partners
- Agency action plans to reach full caseload