Home Visiting Services Account

The state’s Home Visiting Services Account funds high-quality proven and promising home visiting programs. This account uses combinations of federal, state and private funds to provide more home visiting services to families living in some of Washington state’s highest needs communities. Funds also support the professional development of home visitors and ensure programs get the results they promise.

The state Department of Early Learning (DEL) oversees and Thrive administers the account. Together Thrive and the Department of Early Learning work together to create a system of home visiting within the state.

Since the account was created in 2010, it has grown from funding four grantees serving 120 children to 36 grantees with the capacity to serve 2,000 children statewide. In Washington state, there are currently as many as 30,000 families who are eligible for home visiting services but can’t get them.

How HVSA-Funded Programs Work

ALL home visiting funded through the HVSA is voluntary. ALL home visiting builds upon the relationship of the parent/caregiver and the child.

Either before a child is born or in a child’s first few years of life, a family is matched with a trained professional. This person comes to the family’s home on a regular schedule and provides information and support related to children’s healthy development, the parent-child bond and the importance of early learning.

One size does not fit all. The best home visiting model for a family or community is the one they choose. Washington state funds a range of high-quality home visiting programs. Each model has strong evidence that demonstrates strong outcomes for children and families.

In FY15, the HVSA:

  • Provided 750 hours of coaching and training for home visitors
  • Launched home visiting programs in three rural areas that participated in a year-long planning process
  • Launched a partnership with Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), DEL and Department of Commerce to pilot a project to fund programs that are serving families receiving TANF.
  • Reached at least 21 Washington counties and 2 tribes

During 2015 and early 2016, DEL and Thrive explored the feasibility of Pay for Success as a model to help the state greatly increase the number of children and families served through home visiting programs. Read release

Key HVSA Work

  • Portfolio: The HVSA funds evidence-based, research-based and promising practice home visiting models, so that families and communities can choose the model that will work best. Most federal and state dollars must be spent on evidence-based models; private dollars help fund smaller models that have shown to be effective with a specific community or population such as English Language Learners, families with medical and developmental disabilities or rural/frontier families.
  • Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV): Washington state’s largest source of federal funds comes from MIECHV and supports evidence-based home visiting models. Learn more
  • Rural: Rural and frontier communities often have longer distances to travel and less local infrastructure, making it difficult to create and sustain evidence-based home visiting programs. Federal funds are helping three communities implement two of the most common evidence-based home visiting models and help the state learn how to best offer home visiting in rural communities. During the summer of 2015 Thrive will work with additional communities to build capacity and fund one additional rural community in the fall of 2015.
  • Temporary Assistance of Needy Families (TANF): About 175 families receiving federal assistance will now have access to high-quality home visiting programs as part of a pilot program between Thrive, DEL, Department of Commerce, and Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), which oversees the use of TANF funds. Learn more
  • NEAR Science and ACEs: Stressful events that happen in our early years of development affect us in ways that last our entire lives. These are often called Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). NEAR Science is a cluster of fields of study – Neuroscience, Epigenetics, ACEs and Resilience – that give a better, holistic picture of a person’s experiences. Learn more
  • NEAR@Home Toolkit: Thrive worked with its partners in federal Health Resources and Services Administration Region X (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington) to create and release NEAR@Home, a toolkit for addressing ACEs in home visiting. Learn more