State Initiative

Pennsylvania Budget Funds Historic Home Visiting Expansion

Jul 19, 2022

New investment in Pennsylvania families through voluntary, evidence-based home visiting will provide parents and caregivers raising children the support they need to address substance use disorders, develop school readiness, improve maternal and child health, promote economic self-sufficiency, and reduce abuse and neglect.

Pennsylvania’s 2022-23 state budget includes historic increases to expand evidence-based home visiting. Policymakers invested an additional 15 million dollars in the Department of Human Services (DHS) budget, along with an additional 1 million dollars earmarked for the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) line item. The budget increase in DHS will allow the state to serve 3,800 more pregnant people, children, and families, and NFP will serve 200 additional families. Pennsylvania currently offers six evidence-based home visiting models that receive state funding. Through funding from a recent procurement process, additional models are expected to be added in order to meet the varied characteristics and needs of Pennsylvania families.

The current budget year increase aligns with Pennsylvania’s ongoing commitment to expand and improve home visiting across the state and reflected an increase after two years of flat funding for home visiting. The statewide campaign, Childhood Begins at Home, began advocating for policy makers to understand the value of evidence-based home visiting in 2017. Since the campaign began, Pennsylvania more than tripled the amount of funding the state provides for evidence-based home visiting programs from $15.2M to $48.7M, which exceeds the amount of funding the state receives in Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) dollars.

To help policy makers better understand the landscape of home visiting across the state and the multiple funding sources currently utilized as well as possible future funding sources, Childhood Begins at Home developed Forward Thinking: Diversifying Funding to Grow and Sustain Evidence-Based Home Visiting in Pennsylvania. This resource details various federal and state funding opportunities and shares examples of other states who have found ways to invest in improving the home visiting systems across their states. Advocates also updated state and county fact sheets to show unmet home visiting need in 2022, with only 5 percent of the pregnant women, children and their families who could benefit the most receiving services. Reflecting further commitment to growing home visiting in the upcoming fiscal year, the state budget includes one-time stimulus funds through the Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention line totaling $8M.

This investment in Pennsylvania families through voluntary, evidence-based home visiting will provide parents and caregivers raising children the support they need to address substance use disorders, develop school readiness, improve maternal and child health, promote economic self-sufficiency, and reduce abuse and neglect.

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