Pennsylvania advocates push for Congress to reauthorize home visit programs for kids and parents

Federal authorization for a program that helps pregnant women and families with young children will expire at the end of September, and Pennsylvania advocates are pushing Congress to renew it to avoid any disruption in services.

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program provides home visiting services — a voluntary program for parents of very young children.

With Congress on recess for most of August, advocates say they are concerned the program’s federal funding and authorization could be allowed to lapse at the end of September.

“I’m pretty panicked that we’re so close to September 30th, and we’ve not seen any movement in Washington,” said Kari King, executive director of advocacy group Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.

When the program was up for reauthorization in 2017, MIECHV reauthorization was allowed to lapse for a number of months, along with several other federal programs, caught in a larger political dispute about the Affordable Care Act and other issues.

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