Dept. of Health Grant Expands Home Visits in SE Minnesota Counties

Dept. of Health Grant Expands Home Visits in SE Minnesota Counties

Four local agencies collaborate to serve families with high-risk factors

A four-year $2.2 million Minnesota Department of Health collaborative grant expands home visits to low-income families in seven Southeastern Minnesota counties.  Three Rivers Community Action, Inc. partnered with subgrantees, Jeremiah Program, Families First of Minnesota, and Semcac, to receive this competitive award.

Using the Parents as Teachers and Early Head Start evidence-based home visiting models, the program will focus on families with high-risk factors to improve family health and well-being, working with parents as the primary educators of their children.

“This collaboration pulls together experts with decades of experience helping economically-challenged families succeed,” said JoMarie Morris, Jeremiah Program, Rochester-SE MN executive director. “The expansion will reach more families and target the unmet needs of immigrant families and others.”

In addition, the grant addresses a significant gap in-home visits for children birth to 3 years. Currently, most of the regions’ home visits are for prenatal to 3 months only.

“The parent-child relationship and the resulting social-emotional development of the child is so critical to the future success of the child. The Early Head Start home visiting model supports both the child’s development and the parent(s) interaction with their child” said Jane Adams Barber, Three Rivers Community Action, Inc. early childhood director.

Home visiting programs, “are a proven way to benefit at-risk children, promote life-long health and reduce the need for future community spending on social programs,” said Minnesota Department of Health in a recent press release announcing $32 Million in grants around the state.

“We have ongoing assessment and continuous improvement processes in place to ensure the home visiting experiences are meeting the needs of families and program goals,” said Beth Stanford, Semcac Head Start director.

The project hopes to serve more than 100 new families each of the four years of the grant beginning in 2019. Please visit the grantee websites for information on the services they offer and how to apply for support.

“Partnerships are an efficient way to deliver these services to those who need them the most,” said Jon Losness, Families First of Minnesota executive director. “Working together, our organizations can address the need to promote child well-being while preventing abuse and neglect.”