New Mexico Home Visiting Accountability Act
In April 2013 New Mexico passed the Home Visiting Accountability Act, which creates a framework for standards-based home visiting, ensuring a level of quality and consistency in home visiting programs across the state.
The legislation requires that state money only be used to fund home visiting programs that meet the standards outlined in the Act and aim to improve the health, well-being, and self-sufficiency of eligible families. The Act defines home visiting programs as those that use home visiting as a primary service delivery strategy and that offer services on a voluntary basis to expectant parents and parents of children from birth to kindergarten entry. The system serves families from pregnancy to age five and includes evidence-based models such as Nurse Family Partnership and Parents as Teachers as well as several different state-created programs. New Mexico has established Home Visiting Standards based on research and best practice that all models must achieve. For the latest reports, visit their website.
According to the Act, home visiting programs must do two or more of the following:
- Improve prenatal, maternal, infant, or child health outcomes including preterm births;
- Promote positive parenting practices;
- Build healthy parent and child relationships;
- Enhance children’s social-emotional and language development;
- Support children’s cognitive and physical development;
- Improve the health of eligible families;
- Provide resources and support that may help to reduce child maltreatment and injury;
- Increase children’s readiness to succeed in school; and
- Improve coordination of referrals for, and the provision of, other community resources and supports for eligible families.
As required by the Act, the Children, Youth and Families Department and providers of home visiting services jointly developed an outcomes measurement plan to monitor outcomes for children and families receiving home visiting services. Annual outcomes reports that were delivered to the governor, legislature, and Early Learning Advisory Council for Fiscal Years 2013, 2014 and 2015 have shown improvement in data collection, data integrity, improved screening rates and other efforts to strengthen program delivery to families.
Updated February 2016.
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