LANSING, Mich. – Vulnerable and at-risk mothers in Michigan will benefit from a $7.9 million federal grant to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Funding goes to the Michigan Home Visiting Initiative that promotes maternal, infant and early childhood health, development, and safety; school readiness; and strong parent-child relationships to improve health outcomes.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that the grant to the initiative will run through September 2019.

Early Childhood Home Visiting programs provide voluntary, prevention-focused services in the homes of pregnant women and families with children ages 0-5 by connecting trained professionals with vulnerable and at-risk mothers and families to nurture, support, coach, educate and offer encouragement with the goal that all children grow and develop in a safe and stimulating environment.

“MDHHS is focused on improving health outcomes for all Michiganders,” said MDHHS Director Nick Lyon. “Home visits from trained professionals during pregnancy and the first five years of a child’s life can be a key in assisting families in caring for infants and building strong, healthy relationships with their young children.”

Statewide, more than 600 professionals serve an estimated 34,000 families each year. Federal funding for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program is also an important part of these efforts.

Families in at-risk communities experience challenges that include poverty, unemployment, crime and domestic violence, child maltreatment, substance abuse, infant mortality, and poor school outcomes. Grant dollars will pay for continuing to improve home visiting services in several counties, building infrastructure to support the quality and success of home visiting services and supporting local stakeholder involvement and coordination.

Past grant awards have similarly helped strengthen Michigan’s home visiting system and support integration of early childhood home visiting within Michigan’s Great Start Early Childhood system.

The Michigan Home Visiting Initiative is a multi-agency effort of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Education in support of Michigan families.

For more information about the Michigan Home Visiting Initiative, visit

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