WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services has been awarded $6,111,628 to improve the health of Maine mothers and children. The funding was awarded through the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration’ (HRSA) Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, and will support efforts to promote childhood development, reduce child abuse, and enhance child and maternal health.
“It is important that children have a strong foundation to facilitate their future success, and the MIECHV program has helped provide this foundation for many young children and families across Maine and the country. This funding will help at-risk families receive the support they need, from the comfort and convenience of their own homes,” said Senators Collins and King and in a joint statement. “We’re grateful to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services for their continued work to promote childhood development, improve maternal health, and give every child an opportunity to thrive.”
“This annual federal funding will allow us to continue helping Maine families who need extra support during their child’s earliest years,” said Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. “Home visits are an important part of Maine’s broader network of resources, services, education and mentoring for parents to help young children grow up safe and healthy.”
The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program supports pregnant people and parents with young children who live in communities that face greater risks and barriers to achieving positive maternal and child health outcomes. Families choose to participate in home visiting programs, and partner with health, social service, and child development professionals to set and achieve goals that improve their health and well-being. The program aims to improve maternal and child health; prevent child abuse and neglect; reduce crime and domestic violence; increase family education level and earning potential; promote children’s development and readiness to participate in school; and connect families to needed community resources and supports.
Senators Collins and King have long supported efforts to strengthen families and improve maternal health care. Senator Collins co-authored the Two-Generation Economic Empowerment Act, a bipartisan bill to help low-income parents and children simultaneously to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Senators King and Collins cosponsored the Rural Maternal and Obstetric Modernization of Services (Rural MOMS) Act, a bipartisan bill that would improve data collection, expand services, and award funding to help ensure that new and expecting moms living in rural communities get the care they need. The United States has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world and one of the highest rates of infant mortality.