Parenting is difficult for everyone, but it can be particularly challenging for low-income families. Voluntary early childhood home visiting programs can ease this challenge by partnering families with trained professionals. Home visiting programs demonstrate parenting techniques, offer health resources, answer parents’ questions, provide developmental screenings, and refer families to other services as needed. Evidence-based home visiting models have proved time and time again that they can produce positive results: healthier birth outcomes, lower incidence of abuse or neglect, and better school readiness.
However, despite these positive outcomes, access to home visiting programs in Westchester and beyond remains an issue. WCA recognizes the need to educate the public and policy makers to build political and community support for home visiting. We’ve been working to promote home visiting within Westchester County. With that in mind, we invited Mary DeMasi, Director of Policy, Planning and Research with the New York State Council on Children and Families, to write a guest blog post about a mapping tool that allows users to find out more about home visiting programs across New York State. NOTE: tomorrow on 11/5, NY State Council will be conducting a webinar about home visiting from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Click on this link to register.
So here’s Mary!
Within New York state, “home visiting” refers to six, distinct, evidence-based programs that offer services to pregnant women, infants and young children. Due to this variation, service providers and advocates did not have a complete view of home visiting across the state. Recently, the Council on Children and Families, in partnership with the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy Home Visiting Workgroup, developed a tool that allows users to view home visiting programs all at once.
How is “Home Visiting in New York State” organized?
Tabs at the top of the map allow users to view information about home visiting programs collectively or by individual programs. Additionally, programs can be viewed in relation to poverty among children ages 0-5—the primary audience for home visiting services.
What information is available?
Select a tab and allow the map to load. The map works best when using any browser except Internet Explorer.
- Once a map of a particular home visiting program is displayed, click a shaded area on the map and additional information about the home visiting program in that area is displayed.
- Use the slide bar on the right side of the pop-up box to move down for more information; use the “x” in the upper right hand corner of the pop-up box to remove the box from the display; use the side arrow ( ) to move through additional pop-up boxes.
- Information about home visiting within New York Legislative and Congressional districts is located in the last tab (use down arrow to expand).
- NOTE: some programs are in a limited number of locations (e.g., HIPPY) so it is advisable to use the + symbol to zoom into geographic areas (Bronx).