Kansas MIECHV Newsletter

Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood 
Home Visiting Program

February 2015


Welcome to the MIECHV monthly newsletter. We hope you will find the content informative. Our website is expected to launch Spring 2015.  
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

Data and Reporting News

 The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will soon submit a report to Congress about the MIECHV Program and will release some MIECHV data. Early 2015 data releases will include:

  • Information regarding the implementing agencies and geographic locations of MIECHV-funded home visiting programs;
  • Demographics of the populations receiving home visiting services;
  • Systems improvements that states have made and other information regarding the early progress states have made in meeting required benchmarks.

 There have been a number of recently-released national report and briefs regarding the MIECHV Program. We are very pleased and proud that the following include or highlight Kansas MIECHV Program work. 


 A report to Congress from the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE) project was released is now available at MIHOPE Report. The report presents the first findings from MIHOPE, the national evaluation of the MIECHV Program. It includes an analysis of the states' needs assessments, as well as baseline characteristics of families, staff, local programs, and models participating in the study. Eight Kansas MIECHV sites are participating in the MIHOPE project. Currently, over 264 Kansas mothers are enrolled in the study with the goal of 360.


 The Center for Law and Social Policy and the Center for American Progress released a new report, An Investment in Our Future: How Federal Home Visiting Funding Provides Critical Support for Parents and Children. Kansas is one of 20 states and 2 tribal grantees highlighted. Also, a 3-page Kansas MIECHV profile was composed. 


Full Report - An Investment in Our Future


Kansas Profile


 The MIECHV Technical Assistance Coordinating Center (TACC) compiled a MIECHV Issue Brief on Centralized Intake Systems. This document provides experiences and lessons learned from numerous states working to develop and implement centralized intake.  Kansas is one of eight states highlighted.  Connections in Wyandotte County and My Family in Southeast Kansas contributed various information and forms included in the appendix. The Issue Brief can be found at TACC MIECHV Report


 Every Child Succeeds, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, released a brief, Moving Beyond DepressionTM. An Effective Program to Treat Maternal Depression in Home Visiting: Opportunities for States.  The brief references the Kansas implementation of the Moving Beyond Depression program in Wyandotte County.  See Moving Beyond Depression Brief for more information.


 The hard work of the Kansas MIECHV team is being recognized!

MIECHV Program Reauthorization  

 The following are updates provided by Brent Ewig,

Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs, with the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP):  


 Once again we are approaching a crossroads for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. As a reminder, Congress created MIECHV in 2010 to improve health and developmental outcomes for children and families who reside in vulnerable communities through implementation of evidence-based voluntary home visiting programs. The program builds on decades of research demonstrating the value of home visiting as a service delivery strategy, with an original authorization providing $1.5 billion for fiscal years 2010-2014.


 Funding for this critical effort was set to expire Sept. 30, 2014, but last March Congress included an extension in a larger bill addressing Medicare payment rates for physicians (also known as the "doc fix"). Congress now needs to act by March 31, 2015 to extend funding for this program.


Over the past few years, AMCHP has been working in partnership with a broad coalition advocating for continuation of MIECHV. Some of our main activities include educating members of Congress and their staff on the purpose and value of home visiting; cultivating champions to lead efforts to continue the program; and seeking data and stories that can help support our key messages.


 As for next steps, there are indications an extension could be considered as part of the next "doc fix" exercise. Congress will punt the decision until closer to the March 31 deadline and, as always, the cost and sources of money to pay for the extension are expected to be sticking points. As the process unfolds, we continue to raise the point that participating families, states and communities need certainty as soon as possible to plan for the continuation of services and to ensure that the resources invested to date are not abandoned.


 In early December, a letter signed by over 750 national, state, tribal and local organizations as well as elected state officials was distributed urging Congress to extend funding for the MIECHV program.  AMCHP helps lead the home visiting colation that spearheaded this letter. We think it provides a great illustration of the widespread support for MIECHV and will be a great tool to increase momentum to extend the program.  The letter can be viewed here MIECHV Letter to Congress


 On February 3rd, President Obama released his FY 2016 budget proposal. The budget includes a call to extend and expand the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), proposing $500 million for FY 2016 and continued expansion to over $2 billion annually by 2025. The president's budget marks the start of the official FY 2016 appropriations process.  The action now moves to Capitol Hill and will continue through the spring and summer. In Congress, the president's budget is seen as a statement of his administration's priorities.  Congress will now begin their process to draft a budget resolution and subsequent appropriations bills reflecting their priorities.

Local Program Innovation

 Beatriz, Daniela and Elena didn't know each other before they enrolled in Healthy Families Wyandotte. Each of them was going through similar situations as far as feeling isolated, not knowing anyone in the city and having little or no support.  They were introduced by their worker at Family Time group events and have become close friends. 


 One time Elena offered a refrigerator to Beatriz because she knew Beatriz was looking for one. Another time Daniela offered Beatriz some furniture knowing she just moved to a new house and was in need of furniture. Daniela helped Beatriz get a job where she is currently working. Beatriz provides transportation to Elena when needed. They all donate items such as clothes, car seats, high chairs and baby food to Healthy Families Wyandotte for other families in the program. 


 These three ladies are not isolated anymore. They spend time together outside of Family Time. They refer services to each other and they let their worker know of services so other families can benefit. They share their frustrations and their success. Each focuses on their children and their child's development. They have found support in each other, which is really exciting because once they exit the program, they no longer will have the Healthy Families worker to help them, but they will still have each other. The hope is other families enrolled in Healthy Families Wyandotte will also become more comfortable and make new friends during Family Time events. Beatriz, Daniela and Elena are a great example how Healthy Families Wyandotte helps connect families. 


 Submitted by Dairi Amaya, Home Visitor, Healthy Families Wyandotte, Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City Kansas Public Health Department. 

Kansas Head Start Association Home Visitor Coaching Program  

 Home Visitor Coaching provides an opportunity to work one on one with an experienced and trained Home Visitor. Benefits of working with a Home Visitor Coach include:
  • Developing strategies to improve performance;
  • Identifying solutions to work related issues;
  • Developing greater self-awareness;
  • Improving skills and knowledge application;
  • Setting goals and developing strategies to accomplish them;
  • Improving responsibility and accountability.
The Kansas Head Start Association Home Visiting Coaching Program provides access to three individual 30-minute coaching sessions at no cost to you or your program. Click here for more information and to access the Home Visitor Coaching services request form. 
Did You Know?
  • The Kansas MIECHV Program launched actual program services in January 2012. We are celebrating three full years of program implementation in Montgomery County and Wyandotte County, and two full years in Cherokee and Labette Counties. 
  • 781 MIECHV enrolled families were served January 2012-December 31, 2014.
  • 375 families were served in October-December 2014, including 42 newly-enrolled.
  • 166 families have been enrolled for over 12 months.
Upcoming Activities and Dates for MIECHV Partners
February 13th
MIECHV Data/Evaluation/CQI Workgroup 9:00-11:30am, KU Center for Public Partnerships & Research, Lawrence, KS. 
February 19-20
Partnering with Teen Parents Training, DCF Learning Center, Topeka, KS. Click here to register! or contact mary.gallow@parentsasteachers.org. Open to all.
March 2-3
Kansas Parents as Teachers Association Conference, Capitol Plaza Hotel, Topeka, KS. Click here for info and registration! Open to all.
March 26
Wyandotte County MIECHV Team, 1:00pm-4:00pm, Unified Government Public Health Department, 619 Ann Ave., 3rd Floor Operations Center, Kansas City, KS. 
March 27

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


March 30
Equitable Access: Bridging Cultural and Linguistic Barriers through Interpretation, The Children's Campus of Kansas City, 444 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, KS.
April 24
Wyandotte County MIECHV Team, 1:00-4:00, Children's Campus, 3rd Floor - 444 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, KS. 
May 15
SE Kansas MIECHV Team, 10:00-2:00, Labette Center for Mental Health, 1730 Belmont, Parsons, KS.

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@gmail.com


This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program Development Grant to States (Grant # D89MC25208, $2,847,000).  This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.