The most significant and enriching developmental years of a child’s life are in the first 3 years, which is why South Carolina has initiated a partnership with the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program and Medical Home visits.
The Children’s Trust of South Carolina recognizes that primary care and pediatric medical home play a critical role in achieving positive health and wellness outcomes for children and families in the state.
South Carolina’s MIECHV Program supports the South Carolina Home Visiting Program and provides voluntary, evidence-based home visiting programs for at-risk women and families with children through kindergarten entry. The MIECHV Program builds upon decades of scientific research showing that home visits by a nurse, social worker, early childhood educator, or other trained professional during pregnancy and in the first years of a child’s life helps prevent child abuse and neglect, supports positive parenting, improves maternal and child health, and promotes child development and school readiness.
Given home visiting programs’ focus on the child’s physical, emotional and intellectual development, the two share many goals in terms of supporting healthy families and communities. Home visiting program models implemented in South Carolina, like Nurse-Family Partnership, Healthy Families America, Parents as Teachers, Healthy Steps, and Family Check-up for Children, emphasize the importance of the medical home’s role in attaining health and development outcomes by helping to connect families with primary care, reinforcing messages and information on child development, and working with providers to best meet the needs of families when it comes to providing comprehensive care.
It has been found that medical homes also serve as a key entry point into support services for the vast majority of at-risk families with young children, which is why The Children’s Trust of South Carolina believes the partnership with home visiting is especially important in assuring that services reach those most in need. In South Carolina, several sites based in medical homes provide home visiting services to families. These sites include private pediatric practices, federally qualified health centers, and hospital outpatient and pediatric clinics. They enroll clients from their patient populations into home visiting services onsite.
The Children’s Trust of South Carolina has found many benefits from the Home Visiting Medical Home Partnership, including:
- Reinforced messaging
- Improved identification of family needs and culturally competent care
- Enhanced communication with families
- In-home environment and safety assessments
- Care coordination
- Depression and developmental screening
- Immunization schedule and well-child visit compliance
- Enhanced family participation in well-child visits
Read more about Home Visiting here.