Policy Resource

Washington Home Visiting Stakeholders Focus on Sustainability

Feb 9, 2016

To create a more sustainable approach to home visiting, state and local communities have focused on two key priorities: systems building and leveraging private sector resources.

Historically, in Washington State, home visiting has been rooted in local community leadership. This approach resulted in the expansion of vital services for families but also fragmented, uncoordinated, and duplicative programs. To create a more sustainable approach to home visiting, state and local communities have focused on two key priorities: systems building and leveraging private sector resources. These efforts ultimately led to the creation of the Home Visiting Services Account (HVSA) in 2010 in legislation, a public- private partnership between the Washington State Department of Early Learning (DEL) and Thrive Washington (Thrive), a statewide nonprofit organization that matches public dollars with private funding to invest in a portfolio of evidence-based and promising practices for home visiting programs. In four years, HVSA increased funding for home visiting services and grew the number of home visiting slots from 100 to over 2,000, while also expanding counties served from four to 22.

State and private leaders capitalized on HVSAs well-developed infrastructure to pursue a new funding opportunity, Pay for Success (PFS), that leverages private capital to expand high-quality prevention programs, such as home visiting. In March 2015, the state began to assess the feasibility of expanding home visiting services through a PFS model. To accomplish this work, a governance structure was launched in May 2015 with a Project Management Team, a Steering Committee, and an Advisory Committee providing leadership. Four working groups—Data Access/Population, Intervention/Outcomes, End Payer/Legal/ Regulatory, and Funder Development—met regularly and conducted the tasks to inform the feasibility report which is expected to be released in the Spring of 2016.
Washington uncovered key lessons that may be helpful to other MIECHV leaders: the critical partnership with philanthropic partners, other state agencies and state legislators; the value of a funded position to work on sustainability; and the importance of communication to building sustainability.

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