Policy Resource

Funding for Home Visiting Protected in New York

Feb 9, 2016

The evidence-based program offers in-home services to 5,000 expectant families and new parents in New York's highest-need communities each year.

Thousands of at-risk families in New York receive home visiting services because of the success of early childhood advocates during state budget negotiations in recent years.

In 2012, the only state-funded home visiting program, Healthy Families New York (HFNY), was slated to lose all $23 million of its funding in FY2012.

Advocates educated policymakers and the public about these and other documented benefits of HFNY to make the case for restoring funding when the program was threatened in 2011. Advocates also brought attention to the fact that any cuts to HFNY funding would disqualify New York from applying for millions in federal aid for home visiting because the state is required to show a Maintenance of Effort in order to receive federal funding. Success was achieved in March 2011 when Governor Cuomo signed the final FY2012 budget, which included full funding at $23.288 million for HFNY.

The evidence-based program offers in-home services to 5,000 expectant families and new parents in New York’s highest-need communities each year. It also employs almost 500 staff across 39 counties in the state.

A randomized controlled trial of HFNY initiated in 2000 showed that the program improves outcomes for children and families. It also produces significant cost-savings for the state. Some of the evaluation findings include:

  • Mothers who participated in HFNY were half as likely to deliver low birth weight babies as mothers who were not enrolled, saving Medicaid and state-sponsored health insurance plans an estimated $2.4 million per year.
  • Children whose parents participated in HFNY were more likely to participate in a gifted program and less likely to receive special education services at age seven than children whose parents did not participate.
  • HFNY reduced child abuse and decreased foster care placements, generating a return of more than $3.00 for every dollar invested in families at high risk for involvement with the child welfare system.
  • 57% of HFNY participants under age 21 received a high school degree or GED by their child’s first birthday.

The New York General Fund budget continued to include funding for the HFNY home visiting program at $23,288,200 in the 2014-2015 budget year. Also included in the 2014-2015 budget under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) fund, for the first time, was a 3 million dollar allocation for the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) home visiting model. This funding remained consistent in the 2015-2016 budget with both the HFNY and NFP allocations included in the General Fund.

For more information on Healthy Families New York, visit: http://www.healthyfamiliesnewyork.org/.

Updated October 2013February 2016

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