Why This Matters

In Westchester County, 95.2% of eligible children are not receiving home visiting services visiting programs are critical for strengthening optimal development of children and families. [1] Westchester Children’s Association advocates for the expansion of home visiting programs at the county and state level so that every eligible family can have access.

  • The early years are critical for children’s physical, cognitive and emotional development.
  • Current evidence-based home visiting models report a variety of positive results including healthier birth outcomes, lower incidence of abuse or neglect, and better school readiness. [2]

The Issue (Explanation and Background)

Early childhood home visiting services provide individualized support and guidance to families with children ages 0-5 in the home setting, as well as, providing connections to needed services. The lack of program capacity and funding in Westchester and New York State has allowed eligible families to go without this critical resource.

  • Home visiting programs pair families with trained professionals, such as nurses, social workers, educators, and paraprofessionals to identify specific family needs.
  • Caregivers learn parenting techniques while being offered support throughout their child’s development.
  • While there are various evidence-based and evidence-informed home visiting servicesthat have shown positive results on a family’s wellbeing, only a small portion of eligible families actually receive these services. [3]

Current Efforts

  • WCA chairs a Home Visiting Workgroup represented by various stakeholders that work with families receiving these services in order to advocate for expansion and improvement of home visiting services in the County.
  • Advocating at the state level to fund a Home Visiting Coordinator position to expand program capacity across New York State.
  • Organizing Vision 0-3, an early childhood conference in October 2018.
  • Collaborating on the development of a coordinated intake pilot for Yonkers in partnership with Lower Hudson Valley Perinatal Network.

How to get involved

For more information


Footnotes

[1] Home is Where the Start Is, 2016, Schuyler Center for Analysis and advocacy, http://scaany.org/policyareas/maternal-infant-and-early-childhood/

[2] Home is Where the Start Is, 2016, Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, http://scaany.org/policyareas/maternal-infant-and-early-childhood/

[3] On the Home Front, 2017, Westchester Children’s Association