The Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting program provides federal dollars for local home visitation programs. One operating in Salt Lake County is the Nurse-Family Partnership. Kami Peterson is a supervisor there. She says home visitations make a difference in young mothers’ lives.
“It mattered to the 15-year-old, who was struggling with her baby and trying to stay in school, to have the nurse’s support to finish high school and become the first person in her family to go to college,” she says.
Currently there are more than 600 women serving prison sentences in Utah. Home visitations have been shown to significantly decrease crime among impoverished mothers and their children. That’s why Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank supports them.
“Diversion programs are the answer and the solution to preventing crime from occurring, and reducing huge law enforcement—the entire system’s budget,” he says.
Congress must renew funding by March 2015 for home visitation programs, including the Nurse-Family Partnership. Supporters are hoping for 1.5 billion dollars over the next 10 years.