Home Visiting in South Carolina
Home visiting is a service delivery strategy that has existed for many years in a number of fields to serve clients in a way that best meets their needs and eliminates barriers that would otherwise inhibit access to services.
Home visiting has become an especially significant intervention in the context of early childhood, given its proven effectiveness at achieving improved outcomes around the health and well-being of children and families as well as its ability reach at-risk populations most in need of these services.
Programs target improved outcomes related to health, development, early learning, family support, and prevention of child abuse and neglect. The research shows that home visits by a nurse, social worker, or early childhood educator during pregnancy and in the first years of life make a real difference, from the promotion of maternal and infant health to increased positive parenting to stronger school readiness.
Services pair new, volunteer families with home visitors who provide family-focused services throughout the critical first few years of the child’s development. Programs offer services to expectant and post-partum parents and families with new babies and children and continue to serve families throughout the child’s first five years of life.
Building Better Early Childhoods in South Carolina
A number of early childhood home visiting program models are currently implemented in this state. These program models employ varying strategies and programmatic areas of focus to provide services that meet the diverse needs of differing target populations. These program models include evidence-based interventions with scientific research and evaluation that demonstrates the model’s effectiveness.
South Carolina programs are funded by a variety of public and private partners, including The Duke Endowment, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation, and state and federal funding. Most recently, the collaboration of the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services and philanthropies have established a Pay for Success initiative.
In 2010, the U.S. Congress established the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), which provides funding to all 50 states and tribal grantees nationwide for the provision of voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services to low-income, at-risk families. Children’s Trust of South Carolina is the lead agency for administering the MIECHV program in South Carolina.
A Vision for Home Visiting
South Carolina strives to build a continuum of home visiting services across the state and enhance existing systems of care, rather than create stand-alone home visiting programs, to strategically and collaboratively plan and implement workforce development and advisory and advocacy efforts on both micro and macro levels. These efforts are designed to unify and strengthen all facets of home visiting, in relation to building early childhood systems, standardizing practices, increasing sustainability, and most importantly, improving resources and outcomes for children and families in South Carolina.
Early Childhood Development Newsletter – Home Visiting Special Edition (March 2015) – PDF