In Pennsylvania, first-time mothers covered by Medicaid will receive home visits from health specialists who will help them plan their children’s growth and conduct a housing and food access evaluation that will allow them to design a support system based on the protection of their children.
State Secretary of Human Services for Governor Tom Wolf’s administration Teresa Miller said the exact number has not yet been determined, but she believes the expansion, which will begin next year, will reach at least 15,000 more families.
“All first-time parents and parents of infants with additional risk factors will receive a minimum of two home visits after their baby’s birth,” Miller said. “These home visits will teach parents about infant development, assess social indicators of health, like housing and food access that can affect child development and overall health, and identify whether additional supports are needed.”
Miller, who has a three-year-old daughter in tow, said she wants moms to know it is all right not to have all the answers, and that she, too, benefited from working with a home visitor. She spoke of the need to dispel the stigma associated with these programs.
Translated by: José Espinoza