Investment in home visits invests in our future - Albuquerque Journal

Investment in home visits invests in our future

Every parent knows that having a new child is incredible and wonderful, but also one of the most stressful endeavors anyone can ever hope to undertake. In New Mexico, about 27,000 children are born each year. Many of these newborns are the sons and daughters of first-time parents who are just embarking on a lifetime full of joys and the greatest of challenges.

Every child deserves the best start from birth. We know that the earliest years of our children’s lives are the most important in their social, emotional and cognitive development. Nurturing our youngest children is key to ensuring they grow up healthy and prepared to succeed in life.

But parenting is hard. And it can be especially daunting for parents who have little in resources.

Home-visiting programs can be of great help to new families, providing support and critical assistance that ranges from health care to emotional and social supports at a crucial time in a child’s brain development. This legislative session, our leaders have an opportunity to expand Medicaid-funded home visiting to more families statewide. Services that more New Mexicans could access include checking on the development and health of the child, screening mothers for post-partum depression, supporting breastfeeding, and connecting families to community activities.

New Mexico is already moving forward with a pilot home-visiting program for Medicaid eligible families in Bernalillo County starting in January 2019. Curry and Roosevelt counties will join the pilot later in the year. This pilot will implement two different models of evidence-based home visiting, Parents as Teachers and Nurse-Family Partnership, which have been found to produce higher educational and health outcomes for children. Both models measurably reduce birth complications, infant emergency medical care episodes, as well as incidence of child abuse and neglect, and successfully encourage young parents to pursue higher education and job training.

There has never been a more opportune time to invest in our children. The pilot program leverages federal funding to cover about 70 percent of the costs. If our Legislature expanded the program, our state would be able to leverage the same percentage and New Mexico could offer home visiting programs at a fraction of what it would otherwise cost the state.

For every dollar we invest in home visiting, New Mexico can save between three dollars and six dollars in remedial costs. Home visiting establishes a strong foundation for families where children can grow up healthier and safer, and parents can develop stronger parenting skills for the years to come.

We call on our governor-elect and state lawmakers to expand Medicaid-funded home visiting to all New Mexican families. We ask that you pick up the phone and do the same.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Despite crime issue, most ABQ voters feel safe
ABQnews Seeker
The majority of those polled believe ... The majority of those polled believe APD officers doing a good job
2
Rio Rancho gets K-9 training boost
ABQnews Seeker
Teen gifts unit a new scent-training ... Teen gifts unit a new scent-training board
3
Rio Rancho gets K-9 training boost
ABQnews Seeker
Teen gifts unit a new scent-training ... Teen gifts unit a new scent-training board
4
Rio Rancho gets K-9 training boost
ABQnews Seeker
Teen gifts unit a new scent-training ... Teen gifts unit a new scent-training board
5
More protections for Mexican wolf proposed
ABQnews Seeker
Animal was listed as a federally ... Animal was listed as a federally endangered species in 1976
6
City sets $10K signing bonus for police cadets
ABQnews Seeker
Bonus for operators, emergency dispatchers will ... Bonus for operators, emergency dispatchers will be $1,500
7
Member of NM film community arrested on child sex ...
ABQnews Seeker
Christopher Ranney was taken into custody ... Christopher Ranney was taken into custody on Oct. 22 in Santa Fe County
8
Editorial: NM should raise its age to own long ...
Editorials
The father of Noah Tapia, 20, ... The father of Noah Tapia, 20, charged with shooting up the Bernalillo County government headquarters ...
9
NM doesn't need DraftKings' addictive online microbetting
From the newspaper
It's time for the New Mexico ... It's time for the New Mexico government to get out of the predatory gambling racket