Letter: The importance of home visiting

Published: 4/22/2019 12:01:17 PM

As strengthening families director of the N.H. Children’s Trust, and especially as a mother of three children, I feel strongly that New Hampshire lawmakers should be putting the health and well-being of our children and families first.

I believe in the importance of home visiting and other family support and strengthening programs. Home visiting has been shown to improve children’s long-term success in life, strengthen families, and prevent child abuse and maltreatment, which could make a significant difference in the numbers of cases reported to N.H. DCYF. We need to start with primary prevention, including access to home visiting, family resource centers and parenting classes.

Personally, I was able to have a home visitor with my third child, and my whole family benefited greatly. Her birth was less that typical. She did not come home for weeks. It was comforting to know I had someone to ask questions to on a weekly, then bimonthly, then monthly basis. By the time we ran out of allotted visits I felt like I had a strong handle on how to best care for her. I was fortunate to also be part of our Family Resource Center in Concord. They provided me with additional and ongoing support.

I am aware of a bill, Senate Bill 274, which will make home visiting services available to all Medicaid-eligible families. I hope that our representatives will pass SB 274 and include funding for family resource centers in our state budget.



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