Maine will get almost $6 million in federal money to continue its home visiting program for pregnant women and new parents.
The $5,944,280 is part of $342 million that the Health Resources and Services Administration is providing to 55 states, territories and nonprofit organizations to continue the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.
The Maine Families program sends visitors — who are certified through the organization Parents as Teachers and might be nurses, social workers or psychologists — to families’ homes to talk about things like development, feeding and why babies might be crying or acting in confusing ways. They’re also tasked with helping parents make their homes safer and helping them make changes in their own lives, like quitting smoking or getting a GED, that might improve their children’s prospects.
Home visitor programs have been shown to help improve children’s development and to reduce abuse and neglect.
It’s available to everyone for free. The majority of families who use the service are young and lower-income.
Last year, Maine’s program made home visits to about 2,200 homes in every county in the state.
In addition to federal money, the program is funded by Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services.