MIECHV Newsletter

Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program

November 2014

Welcome to the MIECHV monthly newsletter. We hope you will find the content informative. Our website will launch Spring 2014.  
In This Issue

Key Contacts 
State MIECHV Lead:
Debbie Richardson, Ph.D.
Program Manager
Maternal & Child Health Home Visiting
Bureau of Family Health
Kansas Department of Health and Environment

MIECHV Benchmark Reporting, Performance Management & Evaluation:
Teri A. Garstka, Ph.D.
Associate Director
Center for Public Partnership & Research
University of Kansas
Kathy Bigelow, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor
Juniper Gardens Children's Project
University of Kansas

MIECHV Funding Update



 The federal fiscal year 2015 (FFY2015) competitive grant application was submitted on October 17th and the year 6 formula grant application was submitted on October 31st. Awards for both are to be confirmed prior to March 1, 2015. The project periods for these funds will be March 1, 2015 - September 30, 2017 (two years and seven months).  Thank you to all who contributed to the process.


 In the FFY2015 formula grant application, we reported on recent activities and updated projected plans.  The annual allocation for Kansas is $1,056,142.  These funds will be to sustain the base formula-funded services in the initial two targeted communities, Wyandotte County and Montgomery County for approximately a one-year period.


 For the competitive grant, $9.4 million, the maximum possible, was requested to cover the project period.  The Kansas proposal has three focused goals: (1) Increase home visiting capacity and enrollment to serve more at-risk families; (2) Improve child and maternal outcomes through enhanced interventions; and (3) Enhance home visiting system and service coordination. Objectives and activities include:


  • Maintain and expand the capacity of the three evidence-based models (Parents as Teachers, Healthy Families, and Early Head Start) and the promising approach (TIES- Teams for Infants Endangered by Substance Abuse), as well as the coordinated outreach and referral systems (Connections and My Family) in the current targeted communities, Wyandotte County and Southeast Kansas.  This includes maintaining enrollment caseloads previously supported by the MIECHV development grant as well as further expansion of caseload capacity.  In Southeast Kansas, this will include expansion from the three counties - Montgomery, Labette, and Cherokee - to five with the addition of Wilson and Neosho counties.  Some new caseloads in both areas will prioritize employment of bilingual home visitors to better serve non-English speaking families.  We project to serve 632 families (461 new, 171 continuing).
  • Expand and increase efforts to effectively serve at-risk families through coordinated and targeted interventions to address healthcare access, mental health, and domestic violence services.  This will include training for MIECHV staff to enhance linkages of families with health care coverage and medical homes, adding a bilingual therapist to expand the Moving Beyond Depression services to more Spanish-speaking Wyandotte County mothers, providing mental health training and consultation services for home visiting programs, and implementing training and technical assistance to improve domestic violence screening, referrals, and safety planning for enrolled home visiting families.
  • Enhance statewide home visiting system infrastructure components: a) Coordinated intake, and referral systems to increase outreach, enrollment and engagement into home visiting services; b) State capacity and sustainability of quality home visiting services; c) Home visiting outcomes report card to track progress and successes for children and families served by evidence-based home visiting programs to enable data-informed decision-making at local, state and national levels; d) Communication of the value and benefits of home visiting to improve access, enrollment and retention; and e) Professional development systems to ensure home visiting staff are highly trained and prepared to deliver services with fidelity and to diverse populations.
  • Conduct a rigorous mixed-methods implementation and impact evaluation to assess home visiting delivery, fidelity, and impact on child, maternal, and family outcomes.
Evaluation Activities


 We'd like to remind home visitors that the third and final round of data collection for the Working Alliance Inventory survey and in-depth interviews has started. Our field assessors Mary Joy and Amanda Backer Lappin will continue their outreach efforts with home visitors and families in the coming weeks. Data collection will continue through the fall. Thanks!

Motivational Interviewing Tips

 Motivational Interviewing (MI) helps prepare home visitors to effectively engage families through collaborative, person-centered guidance, which helps to elicit and strengthen personal motivation for change.  The tips below are intended to remind home visitors what was learned during MI training and help them be intentional about putting these lessons into practice.

  • If you take the "reason to change" side of an argument, the parent will often present the reasons for not changing.....exactly what you do not want to have happen. Remember, don't try to persuade an ambivalent parent. Help them resolve their ambivalence about change.  
  • Open questions create a more collaborative environment and more active parent involvement.
  • Parents tend to believe what they hear themselves say! That's why we want to elicit motivation (change talk) from them.
Kansas Home Visiting Reflections

  •  Across all local, state, and federal funding sources, Kansas has been able to provide high quality evidence-based home visiting (EBHV) services to only 15% of the total at-risk families in our highest need counties.
  • Through August 31, 2014, Kansas MIECHV served a total of 710 families with 12,213 completed home visits. Nearly 60% of these families reside in Wyandotte County while 40% of families are served in Cherokee, Labette, and Montgomery counties in Southeast Kansas.

  • The Connections Centralized Screening and Referral System in Wyandotte County provides screening and referral visits to approximately 679 high-risk families annually. In SE Kansas, the My Family coordinated screening and referral system has engaged over 553 families annually. 

Upcoming Activities and Dates for MIECHV Partners
December 4
Wyandotte County MIECHV training "Building Hope: An Avenue to Strengthening Moms and Babies" (Part 1), Dr. Kathleen Baggett, 9:00-12:00, Location TBA, Kansas City, KS.
December 11

Wyandotte County MIECHV training "Building Hope: An Avenue to Strengthening Moms and Babies" (Part 2), Dr. Kathleen Baggett, 9:00-12:00, Location TBA, Kansas City, KS.


December 11

Wyandotte County MIECHV Team, 1:00-4:00 pm, Unified Government Public Health Department, 3rd Floor Operations Center, Kansas City, KS. 


December 15State Home Visiting Leadership Group, 1:00-4:00pm, Curtis Building/KDHE, Topeka
January 9

SE Kansas MIECHV Team, 10:00-2:00, Labette Center for Mental Health, Parsons, 1730 Belmont, Parsons


January 29

Wyandotte County MIECHV Team, 9:00-12:00, Unified Government Public Health Department, 3rd Floor Operations Center, Kansas City, KS.


March 22

SE Kansas MIECHV Team, 10:00-2:00, SEK-CAP, 401 North Sinnet, Girard


Happy Thanksgiving! We are thankful for all that you do for Kansas families. 
Past MIECHV Newsletters  

Past newsletters have been archived and can be accessed here
Contact Us    
If you have ideas for the newsletter, feedback, questions, comments, concerns, etc. please email kshomevisiting@ku.edu