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Sustaining a Light of Hope for Families: Tribal Home Visiting Programs Persevere During COVID-19

Jun 6, 2021

Deborah Roderick Stark, Harwood, Maryland

Abstract

Early home visiting programs have provided a lifeline of support to American Indian and Alaska Native families hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. This article is about how three Tribal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (Tribal MIECHV) grantees have approached the pandemic with agility, adaptability, and innovation. Home visitors are responding to the needs of families, supporting one another, and shining a light of hope.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having an outsized impact on the American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) community. For some, the pandemic may be triggering trauma that AIAN people have endured since colonization. For all, the rapid spread of the virus, especially on reservations, is threatening the lives of too many loved ones.

Even during the darkest moments of the pandemic, home visiting programs have been able to sustain a light of hope for families. When other providers paused or ended services, home visitors continued to show up for families.

Editor’s Note :This publication is an abbreviated version of an issue brief produced by Programmatic Assistance for Tribal Home Visiting (PATH) for the Administration for Children and Families under contract #HHSP233201500130I – HHSP23337001T

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