Adjusting to life as a new parent can be a struggle for many mothers and fathers, but it’s not one they have to face alone. In Michigan, support services are offered for pregnant women and families with kids ages 0-5 – and provided right in the comfort of your own home.
Michigan’s Early Childhood Home Visiting programs are designed to “nurture, support, coach, educate and offer encouragement” for new parents with the goal of ensuring a safe and positive environment for kids as they grow up. By connecting parents to the resources and services they may need, new moms and dads can get the support they need to give their children the best possible start in life.
It’s an option many parents might appreciate. In fact, studies have found benefits to in-home health visits for new parents, including fewer doctor trips and emergency room visits.
Types of home visiting models
According to the state of Michigan’s website, there are five types of home visiting models that are most common in the state. If you’re interested in in-home support services for you or someone you know, here’s a look at the five types of programs and what they offer.
- Early Head Start Home Visiting: This child-focused program serves pregnant women, infants and toddlers and aims to increase school-readiness of children in low-income families.
- Healthy Families America: It works with “overburdened families who are at-risk for adverse childhood experiences, including child maltreatment.” Services can start before the baby is born or right after, and continue three to five years.
- Maternal Infant Health Program: This program is offered for those who have Medicaid. It works to promote “healthy pregnancies, good birth outcomes, and healthy infants.”
- Nurse Family Partnership: In this program, ongoing home visits are provided by registered nurses to low-income, first-time moms.
- Parents as Teachers: This program provides educational information and support to kids from before birth to kindergarten, aiming to promote school readiness and healthy development.
Home visits are provided free of charge and are always voluntary, according to Michigan’s Home Visiting Initiative. Some are targeted toward parents of children younger than 1 year of age and others are open to expecting parents or those who have kids up to 5 years old.
While some of the programs for new parents are geared toward low-income families, others have no income requirements, according to a recent feature on the programs in Second Wave Media.