Responding to evidence of the short and long-term benefits of home visiting, Congress became a partner with states and local communities to support voluntary home visiting. The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) was established in 2010 to provide grants to states and Indian Tribes to support voluntary home visiting programs with demonstrated effectiveness that respond to community needs.
By 2014, MIECHV has been implemented in 544 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories. In tribal communities, in many cases, grantees have enhanced or adapted models to fit culture and context.
How MIECHV Works
Under the law, MIECHV funding is limited to evidence-based program models with a demonstrated track record of effectiveness. The US Department of Health and Human Services began the Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness review to examine home visiting research literature and assess the evidence of effectiveness of home visiting program models. Any state or model developer may request a review to be deemed an evidence-based model, but standards for acceptance are high.
States and tribal entities are eligible to receive their share of MIECHV funding funding, which is based on the population of at-risk children. States and tribal entities conduct needs assessments to identify eligible at-risk communities and priority populations. They then select one or more of the evidence-based models to receive funds, in order to meet identified community needs.
Following the needs assessments, states and tribes work with local implementing agencies to train a high-quality home visiting workforce, establish data reporting and financial accountability systems, and develop recruitment and referral networks to enroll families and facilitate service coordination in local communities.
Home Visiting Models
MIECHV legislation requires a minimum of 75 percent of grant funding be spent on program models proven to be effective. If the state chooses, a smaller percentage of funding can be used to enroll families in models with promising practices. As of 2013, states had opted to fund only evidence-based models.
As of 2014, the following programs have been determined to meet the HHS criteria:
- Child FIRST
- Early Head Start – Home Visiting
- Early Intervention Program for Adolescent Mothers
- Early Start (New Zealand)
- Family Check-Up
- Healthy Families America (HFA)
- Healthy Steps
- Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY)
- Nurse Family Partnership (NFP)
- Oklahoma Community-Based Family Resource and Support Program (PDF – 91 KB)
- Parents as Teachers (PAT)
- Play and Learning Strategies (PALS) Infant (PDF – 96 KB)
- SafeCare Augmented
- Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home Visiting Program (MESCH)
Each voluntary home visiting model has supporting evidence that can be found on its website.
The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Evaluation (MIHOPE) is the legislatively -mandated evaluation of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program. The evaluation uses a randomized-control design to determine the impact of home visiting on a wide range of outcomes.
Upon completion, the evaluation is expected to involve about 85 program sites and 5,100 families in a dozen states. It examines how program models operate on the local level, and describes the families that participate. Initial reports to Congress are anticipated in 2015, with continued follow-up through 2018.
For more information about the MIHOPE study, please visit: