LAWRENCE — Kansas parents, parents-to-be, grandparents and communities have a new website to provide support and resources to help babies grow up healthy and happy.
Kansas Home Visiting is a statewide collaborative effort led by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) and supported by KU’s Center for Public Partnerships & Research (CPPR) in the Achievement & Assessment Institute.
“As parents, we all need help at some point – sometimes just that little extra help can make a big difference,” said KDHE Home Visiting Program Manager Deborah Richardson. “This website identifies home-visiting programs by county, provides information about home visiting program models and provides links to resources related to child development, maternal and child health, child safety, parenting tips and many more.”
Home visiting is a voluntary program that involves meeting with a trained, family-support professional at a time convenient for families. Home visitors are qualified to answer questions and provide guidance on such issues as maternal and child health, positive parenting, child development and growth, safe home environments, learning and school readiness.
CPPR provides evaluation, data system and project coordination supports for the KDHE-administered Kansas Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program. These supports include collecting and reporting benchmark data, project evaluation and development of the Kansas Home Visiting website.
“CPPR’s multiyear partnership with KDHE reflects our deep commitment to support of at-risk children, youth and families across the state,” said Betsy Thompson, CPPR MIECHV project coordinator.
The MIECHV Program began in 2010 as a five-year federal initiative to improve the health and development outcomes for at-risk children through evidence-based, voluntary home-visiting programs provided to pregnant women and children birth to age 5. KDHE administers the Kansas MIECHV Program with grant support from the Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program provides the infrastructure for Kansas Home Visiting. KDHE contracts with CPPR and the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project at KU to ensure that data reporting, evaluation and continuous quality improvement requirements are met. Kansas MIECHV prioritizes data-informed practice and program accountability to a state and federally approved benchmark plan.
More about KDHE
KDHE’s mission is to protect and improve the health and environment of all Kansans. Through education, direct services and the assessment of data and trends, coupled with policy development and enforcement, KDHE improves health and quality of life, preventing illness and injuries and fostering a safe and sustainable environment for the people of Kansas.
More about CPPR
One of the KU Achievement & Assessment Institute’s four research centers, CPPR assists partners with addressing complex social issues through research and evaluation, systems development, professional development, technical assistance and performance management systems. CPPR currently has more than 50 grants in the areas of early childhood, child welfare, child-abuse prevention, K-12 education and at-risk families. CPPR staff members have extensive experience working collaboratively with state, federal and community-based organizations to drive research, build capacity and make big changes possible. Strong partnerships with the Kansas Children's Cabinet & Trust Fund, Kansas Department of Health & Environment, Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas Health Foundation result in innovations, positive change, and support for at-risk children, youth and families across the state.