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New Hampshire receives funding to bolster home visiting program for families

New Hampshire will receive a $1 million federal grant to support programs geared toward helping to make sure that infants get off to a healthy start in their new homes, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday.

In total, the department said it will distribute $106.7 million to such programs across the country.

In the Granite State, money from the Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting Initiative will go toward the Healthy Families America home visiting program, department spokeswoman Kris Neilsen said in an emailed statement. This voluntary program – aimed at aiding pregnant women and their families – has helped more than 776 families in New Hampshire since its inception in 2011, Neilsen said.

According to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services website, the state’s network of home visiting programs is designed to help pregnant women who are Medicaid-eligible and their families, as well as Medicaid-eligible families with children who are younger than 1. The programs are especially focused on new mothers under age 25, first-time mothers, mothers who might develop problems during pregnancy, mothers with substance abuse issues and families who might be at risk for abuse or neglect, according to the website.

Through these programs, HHS said on its website, “Families get support in their roles as their child’s first and best teacher and learn ways to help their child grow and learn.”

This year’s projected grant amount for New Hampshire is smaller than what the state has received in the past. According to records on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, the state received about $1.46 million in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

(Casey McDermott can be reached at 369-3306 or cmcdermott@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @caseymcdermott.)

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